YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

Probe: May 3, 2002

May 03, 2002

QUESTION: It's been 25 years since a teen-age hitchhiker was allegedly molested by the Holtville priest. Why doesn't the victim let it pass? I don't imagine any official record exists at this late date. — Old-timer, Holtville

The priest, who was arrested in Holtville but booked at the Imperial County Sheriff's Office, would be 83 if he still lives. ICSO has no record of the booking. Nor does the District Attorney's office.

However, the Holtville Police Department maintains the original police report. To shake a copy loose, the victim will need a court order, according to a Holtville police officer.

Officer Walter Lundstein investigated and arrested the 58-year-old priest.

KEEPING THE PEACE — Our sympathy goes out to the Calexico family tortured by youths blasting them with loud music. We had the same problem in our Calipatria neighborhood. We complained to the police chief. He told us to take down license plates.


We compiled a list of 15 regular offenders after only a week. The problem quieted down. When the cars with their loud music returned, we started calling the police again. Now we file complaints against the offenders. This has been a great help. The police want to help but they can't be everywhere at once. I hope this helps. — Peace, Calipatria

Thank you.

PULLING UP ROOTS — I love my Niland home. I have lots of space, great neighbors and just outside my property, what I thought was a beautiful cottonwood tree.

Eighteen months ago I came home after a trip to see my grandkids to find my concrete walk way broken and lifted in three places. I paid a consultant to look at the walkway and the consultant said it was the palm tree.

I paid a substantial sum of money to remove the palm tree and the broken walkway. A year ago my front door wouldn't open and there were cottonwood suckers around my porch. I called another consultant who told me the cottonwood tree roots had gone under my porch and was lifting it up; hence, the door wouldn't open.

I hired a person to dig out the roots. He found a root ball as big as an engine. I called the county for permission to remove the cottonwood tree.

In the meantime, I have tried every remedy on the market to kill the roots: Roundup, rock salt, covering the roots with plastic and quit watering the front yard.

It took 12 months and a property line survey to verify the tree was not on my land. Four months ago, the county cut the tree to ground level. The tree cutters assured me they had killed it. They also assured me they would not provide any root removal services to my property.

The roots (and the stump) are continuing to grow. There are roots eight to 10 inches in diameter all around my porch, house and yard. Twelve- to 14-inch-high tree shoots are circling the stump. My cement porch is cracked in half (but the door opens).

I have hired another person to start digging out the tree roots and I am having nightmares of the killer tree cracking my house in half while I sleep. My bank account is teetering on bankruptcy. I need help! Does anybody know how to kill this house eating tree. — Rooted, Niland

We won't sleep a wink tonight! We left a seedling tree in a flower bed too close to our house. Now its trunk is a foot in diameter and taller than our house and our back door won't open!

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles