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PROBE: March 26, 2002

March 26, 2002

CHEAP, CHEAP MONEY — We are looking for people who want to borrow money at low rates. We can lend money with interest rates of 2 percent to 5 percent to low-income households for projects such as fixing roofs, foundations and electrical systems or heating and cooling units or for room additions to relieve overcrowding.

We need to lend some money immediately and we need a waiting list. We are asking for more grant money from the state but we need to show there is an interest and community need for housing repair.

Depending on their income level, households may qualify for up to 20-year loans. Part of the loan may be deferred at zero interest to keep the payments low. A family of four with an annual income of no more than $31,350 would qualify for this program. — Money Lender, El Centro

OK, if you need to fix your place where money is tight, get in touch with Ken Hollis at Imperial County Community and Economic Development. Call 337-7814 or stop by 836 Main St., El Centro

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A FEEL-GOOD PROJECT — The women on Adams Avenue are not good-looking. They are drug users who cover up their arms to hide the drug tracks. They are $10 hookers who walk the streets to feed their drug habits.

If you put some clean, healthy, good-looking woman on the streets, some men who would not normally stop will stop. For that reason the sting operation probably didn't remove one man who regularly solicits sex from the Adams Avenue women.

"Operation Street Sweeper" was a "feel good" sting, more likely to make the interdiction team feel good than to remove a single drug pusher off the streets or discourage men from approaching hookers for sex.

If they really want to discourage men from soliciting Adams Avenue women for sex, leave the ugly, worn-out hookers alone. Healthy, well-groomed police women will just excite the guys cruising Adams. It's like entrapment. — Cruiser, Calexico

You could be right. The cops arrested four guys trying to pick up the lady cops. On the other hand, the next time a man sees a good-looking woman standing on an Adams Avenue corner, he may think twice before he makes his move.

BIG MEAN DOGS — In light of the recent dog-mauling case and subsequent conviction of the dog owners, wouldn't you think that a certain El Centro policeman would take heed and remove his three Rottweilers from his front yard? The dogs terrorize passersby. The dogs are restrained only by a 4-foot fence they could easily scale. One dog could do irreparable harm. If all three got out and joined in the attack, the consequences would be unthinkable. Walk by the 400 block of Lenrey and check this out. — Lenrey Walker, El Centro

We think it's increasingly risky to keep vicious dogs in urban areas where they might attack others — and more risky to keep a dog with a reputation for violence.

Rottweilers are second only to pit bulls for having fatally mauled humans. The breed presa canario was not on the list of killer dogs. It was a pair of presa canarios that ripped Diane Whipple to shreds in San Francisco.

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