Probe: June 26, 2002

June 26, 2002

QUESTION: Who owns the two graffiti-covered towers on the north side of Evan Hewes Highway down the road from the Barbara Worth Golf Resort?

I am a substance abuse counselor with the California Youth Authority. I work with young people and we would like to paint over graffiti and make the towers less unsightly. — Counselor, El Centro

From the highway the towers look as if they are on land farmed by Ernie Strahm, who told us the towers are on "railroad land".

The "railroad," once the old Holton Inter-urban line built by Valley pioneer W.F. Holt, later acquired by Southern Pacific and no longer in use, is now the property of Union Pacific Railroad.


We could not get a Union Pacific big wig on the phone. We did manage to get a phone number and the address of a corporate attorney.

The number for Union Pacific's real estate office is (402) 997-3533, or you can write to Union Pacific attorney Jeff Asay, 10031 Foothills Blvd., Roseville, CA 95747.

We're hoping to find a simpler connection. County Tax Assessor Jose Rodriguez Jr. promised to investigate and let us know today what he found out.

QUESTION: A couple of months ago I gave a 30-day notice to Pat Miller & Associates that I would be moving from my apartment. After I gave notice I became ill.

The other day I got a tenancy termination notice to move July 18. I can't possibly move in that amount of time. I can't move earlier than Aug. 1.

I have to go to San Diego July 17 for medical treatment. That's the day before I am supposed to be out of my apartment.

I have been hospitalized three times in the last month for panic attacks and have been going to mental health since 1975 because I am sick and depressed most of the time.

I gave my notice to move because my neighbors were so loud I couldn't sleep. I am not the troublemaker in this dispute. What rights does a tenant have? — Getting Evicted, El Centro

In this dispute both you and your landlord have obligations rather than rights. Your obligation was to give the landlord 30 days notice before moving.

The landlord was required to give you 30 days notice to reclaim his property. You didn't need a reason to move and the property owner doesn't need a reason to throw you out.

Since you have been unhappy in that apartment, your health might improve if you move. Our advice is get started at once.

If you have made a convincing start, we think Miller & Associates would let you slide a week or two past deadline if you can't meet it. Throwing a tenant out of an apartment is a boring, time-consuming, messy business.

QUESTION: You reported that you can bring only one carton of American cigarettes into the United States. How many Mexican cigarettes can you bring? — Smoker, Brawley

It depends on the mood of the border inspector. You can bring in cigarettes for your own use. It's up to the inspector to decide if you're going to smoke that stack of cartons in the back seat or set up a roadside smoke shop.

Calexico inspectors may allow you to "cross" as many as 10 cartons. We once declared and carried 10 cartons across. San Ysidro may limit you to two cartons.

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