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Calipatria flag pole lights are out. Why?

December 23, 2010|By IMPERIAL VALLEY PRESS STAFF

I always enjoy the Christmas lights that adorn the large flagpole in Calipatria. When lit properly, you can see this landmark from miles away. Last Friday night, over half the lights were out. Rain, wiring; what is the problem with them? I would like to see them working again. — Visitor, Riverside

At one time, Calipatria’s flagpole was the tallest in the world at 184 feet. The lighted Christmas tree — which are strands that extend from the pole to the ground — is 175 feet, some kind of record, too, we assume.
Anyway, we spoke with Calipatria City Manager Rom Medina about the pole and its lights, and he said the lights were fully functional Friday, but Saturday is when the trouble started.  
Last Saturday the city had its annual light parade and festival in the park. That night, there was a power overload and some of the lights went dark. Medina said within 15 minutes, the public works department had the light back on.
Sometime on Sunday, though, someone broke into the breaker panel that controls the lights and switched them off. Medina thinks it was more of a prank than anything.
But on Monday, the city discovered this, turned the breakers back on and padlocked the breaker box.
Because of Tuesday’s rain and the age of city facilities and the electrical system, Medina made the decision to shut off the breakers to avoid any electrical malfunctions or shortages.
Medina said Wednesday the rain seems to have stopped, so the lights were to be back on Wednesday night.

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