Probe: April 25, 2002

April 25, 2002

QUESTION: The Brenton Wood concert last week at Brawley Family Billiards was a mess. The place was not set up for a concert. People were crowding on the dance floor, pushing and standing on rocky stools. I have been to other concerts and it was nothing like this.

At one point I had to use the restroom. When I went back there, I found the women had taken over the men's room. There was pushing and shoving and women in stalls with no doors. (There were men in there for crying out loud!) I am a woman and I found that disgusting. Don't women have respect for themselves anymore? — Lodee, El Centro

How do you think the men felt when they found their comfort station invaded by a mob of uncouth women?

Carlos Weir, owner of Brawley Family Billiards, conceded there were lines at the restrooms but he said there was only one doorless stall in the men's room.


If people were standing on chairs to see, it was because the stage was too low, he said, admitting the women went wild when Brenton Wood left the stage to dance with a woman on the floor.

"If we do it again we'll raise the stage a little," Weir promised.

QUESTION: When the power went off in Brawley three weeks ago, so did the water, because there is no emergency generator at our new $20 million water plant. Why? — Uneasy, Brawley

When the city called for bids to build the new plant, all of the bids came in "too high" so the plans were scaled back. One thing to go was the emergency standby generator.

It didn't seem to be a serious thing because the plant has three sources of power, the Dogwood, Pannos and Phil Swing substations.

However, in the most recent power outage, all three substations went down. That left the water plant with no electricity to pump water to the treatment plant or into distribution lines.

That left the city without water for nine minutes (one source said 20 minutes) and at risk if there had been a fire.

There was no fire but the incident shook up the Brawley City Council. It directed Public Works Director Manuel Aceves to shop for a back-up generator. The estimated cost of a new generator is $500,000, said City Councilman Steve Vasquez.

"If we don't have the money, we'll have to finance it," he said.

Councilman Wayne Johnson said Aceves reported he found a used generator for a third of that cost.

A REMEDY FOR THE UNCARDED — I have some advice for Uncarded in El Centro who applied for a green card renewal and still doesn't have the card after two years.

I became a legal resident in March 1998. By December 2001, I still did not have my card. I went to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service office in Calexico every three months to get extensions so I could cross the border.

When the INS told me last December that I would have to pay $110 for a new card because they had sent me one already, I knew the INS was wrong because I had not moved. I went to the office of my congressman, Duncan Hunter, at the Imperial County Airport.

I talked to his aide Carol Starr and she solved my problem. I got my green card a month later. I would urge Uncarded to talk to Ms. Starr. Uncarded should take receipts and any other proof with her. — Card Carrying Resident, El Centro

Thank you.

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