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PROBE: June 25, 2002

June 25, 2002

QUESTION: Can you find out why Calexico would hold a meeting to consider turning Imperial Avenue into a one-way street without notifying any of the merchants on the street? That would ruin us. — Merchant, Calexico

That's not the purpose of the meeting, according to Calexico City Manager Richard Inman, Calexico Chamber Manager Hildy Carrillo-Rivera and Louis Wong, the incoming president of the Chamber of Commerce. Wong takes office July 1.

Wong said he would be opposed to turning Imperial Avenue into a one-way street but would welcome moving traffic going to Mexico off Imperial.

"In the winter, Imperial Avenue is so congested that once you get on it, you have to go to Mexico because you can't get off," he said.

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"We have to do something. There's more people in Calexico and more in Mexicali," said Carrillo-Rivera.

Anyway, that's not a city meeting. It was called by county Supervisor Tony Tirado. The aim is to divert traffic to Mexico to Cesar Chavez Boulevard, a traffic corridor west of Imperial Avenue, and funnel it through the old commercial gate at the international border.

Among other officials meeting to work out the diversion are Calexico Police Chief Mario Sanchez, representatives from U.S. Customs, Immigration & Naturalization Service, the federal General Services Administration, the state Department of Transportation and Mexican officials, including the mayor of Mexicali and representatives of maquiladoras.

QUESADILLAS IN HIGH DESERT — Thanks for passing on my request about quesadillas in PROBE and the quick response to it. I have saved all the papers with input from Imperial Valley readers and their expertise in making the tasty quesadillas. I promise to share this with friends here in the high desert. — Hungry Valleyite, Lancaster

If there's one thing our PROBE readers like to do, it's sharing information. We had our first response to your plight hours after the paper hit the streets.

You didn't tell us if you tried the recipe — and if you did, if you made your own tortillas or bought a package of uncooked ones.

We hope you don't mind but we're going to give your address so another displaced Valleyite in your area can drop you a line: Maida Cunningham, 47455 45th St. West, Lancaster.

A LIZARD STORY — That ole boy who told his wife about a stick-carrying lizard was absolutely right. I heard that story for years but never believed it until I saw one running across hot sand carrying a stick in its mouth. It threw the stick down, jumped on the stick to get its feet off the ground. When its feet got cool enough, it jumped off, grabbed the stick and took off again. — Desert Dweller, Seeley

We've been around here a long time. We've never seen a lizard carrying a stick — or ever heard of it. People see strange things in the desert— especially after a visit to the Lazy Lizard Saloon in Ocotillo.

Here's a fellow who believes in odd reptiles.

A STICK LIZARD — They call those lizards stick lizards because they carry a stick until their feet get hot, then throw it down and stand on it until their feet cool off. I've heard of them but I have never seen one. — Believer, rural El Centro

Go for a walk in the desert without water and you'll see one. Once dehydrated, people see all kinds of strange things, Spanish galleons, palm-shaded oases with fountains of flowing water and nubile maidens wearing sarongs.

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