New Lanes San Ysidro


This week will open a new access from Interstate 5 to the office of Tijuana, the General Services Administration US (GSA) reported.

The transition to the new temporary curve to Mexico start from 7 pm Thursday until 5 am Friday .

The idea is that the change is made for hours “non-peak” to ensure safety of construction workers and not interfere with the busiest times at the border crossing.

The agency said that one lane will be completed at the same time to minimize the impact to traffic. During the mentioned period, there will be at least three lines available to enter San Ysidro to Tijuana.

This new section replaces the existing one and will consist of four vehicle lanes on southbound and a less steep curve extending to five lines to the custom El Chaparral, explained the federal agency said in a statement.

This route will be in operation for a period of 21 months time when direct access from the highway to Mexican customs, for which there will be no need to make a sharp curve will be built.

Once the project is completed in the fall of 2019, there will be ten lanes for vehicles that arrive directly to Mexico, as well as inspection stations for operating the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).


Border Rock Fights

In the six-mile stretch between San Ysidro port of entry and Otay Mountain, Border Patrol agents arrested 108 people crossing on a foggy night in December. One agent was hit with a large rock that night as smugglers tried to distract agents, adding to visibility issues. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune)


On a foggy Saturday night at the end of December, a Border Patrol agent drove an all-terrain vehicle close to the border fence between San Diego and Tijuana, looking for footprints.

To his left, a rust red, 7-foot metal barrier made of landing mats from the Vietnam War separated him from Colonia Libertad, a neighborhood whose gritty northern edges have long been known for smuggling activity.

To his right, rocks, dirt and sand stretched north to an all-weather road. Beyond the road, another fence, an 18-foot steel mesh barricade topped with razor wire, stood between him and the country he had taken an oath to protect.

In the loose soil near the primary fence, he could see signs of a breach better than he would on the road, where his ride would have been smoother and safer.

As he traveled at about 20 mph, a dodge-ball size rock struck him in the chest.

The agent fell, and the ATV flipped on top of him.

On the day the agent was attacked, Border Patrol arrested 108 people crossing illegally in the six-mile stretch where the assault happened, according to Michael Scappechio, a spokesman for Border Patrol in the San Diego Sector.

That’s not uncommon in the fog, Scappechio said.

‘Rockings’ affect border security

While Congress and the White House debate whether and where to add security measures along the southwest border, Border Patrol agents in San Diego hope that the result will help mitigate complications caused by fog.

Smuggling organizations know that Border Patrol’s surveillance cameras don’t work well in the thick fog that rolls in from the ocean around San Diego, so they often use it as a cover to bring larger numbers of people into the U.S.

Border Patrol has almost 2,000 fewer agents than it is supposed to, which means any assault can have an impact on border security.

An assault that injures an agent requires others to respond, spreading them thin along the border. Smuggling organizations try to use this to their advantage, especially in the fog.

Joshua Wilson, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613, said agents fear being debilitated by a rock, which could leave them unable to defend themselves or the weapons they carry.

“People say, ‘Oh it was just a rock.’ It wasn’t just a rock. It was a deadly weapon,” Wilson said. “Agents just want to go home at the end of their shift.”

In fiscal 2017, Border Patrol agents in the San Diego Sector reported 83 assaults, according to Scappechio. That’s almost seven assaults per month.

Rockings on agents in the San Diego Sector are not as frequent as they were a decade ago.

In 2008, the same year that construction of border fencing ramped up, reports of assaults on local agents peaked at 377.

Rockings are the predominant type of assault that San Diego agents encounter.

“Unfortunately, it’s the reality of our profession,” said Roy Villareal, deputy chief of the San Diego Sector. “Just like law enforcement as a whole, it’s part and parcel of the job.”

Tough terrain and a place to hide

Large rocks are in ample supply in the terrain along the San Diego Sector.

The area’s hills and primary fence add to the danger because a height advantage compounds the damage a rock can cause.

Mark Conover, a deputy U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, has been working on border cases for over a decade.

“It does appear as though our Border Patrol agents are regularly under attack at the border,” Conover said, when asked about rocking assaults.

In 2017, his office prosecuted 43 assaults on federal officers. Most of those involved Border Patrol agents, he said.

Several agents voiced frustration that many rock throwers were never prosecuted, meaning there’s little to deter them.

If the rock thrower is on the south side of the fence, catching that person to charge with assault can be difficult.

Border Patrol can call Mexican authorities for help, but the logistics of maneuvering along the steep, pot hole-stricken dirt roads near the border in places like Colonia Libertad make it difficult for Mexican officials to respond in time.

Every agent has a story

“Most of the agents I know have been rocked,” Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Scappechio said. “Everyone with some time in would have a rocking story to tell.”

Scappechio still remembers his scariest rocking experience with vivid detail.

He was working in the Campo area and was sent to respond to a group detected jumping the fence.

When the crossers saw Scappechio and his partner, they turned and tried to climb back to Mexico.

Scappechio and his partner caught one man still on the fence and tried to get him down.

“I look up, and there’s a guy right over top of me and my partner holding a big rock,” Scappechio said. “I pulled my weapon, and the guy dropped it.”

The agents arrested the man they caught on the fence, and as soon as they put the man in the back of their SUV, it began to get “pummeled” with rocks, Scappechio said. The agents were still outside.

Scappechio and other agents recalled using “war wagons,” or Border Patrol vehicles with windshields and windows reinforced by metal mesh, in 2008 to protect themselves from rockings.

The reinforced vehicles are still used in some parts of the border, but not in San Diego.

Better technology to enhance security

Deputy Chief Villareal hopes that private industry will be able to develop technology to help the San Diego Sector combat challenges imposed by fog that increase the likelihood of rockings.

Some surveillance solutions used in other parts of the border, particularly those that fly, won’t work in San Diego because Border Patrol hasn’t been able to get clearance for use of the needed air space, Villareal said.

Surveillance technology used by the U.S. Coast Guard isn’t equipped to handle “noise” created by people and cars moving around in areas near the border, he said.

“We’re always in pursuit of new technology,” Villareal said. “The largest snag is always funding.”

Agent Wilson said that the union believes President Donald Trump’s promised border wall will solve the fog and rocking issue.

Increasing the number of agents along the border would also help, he said.

“We’re feeling the crunch,” Wilson said. “In terms of manpower, what we’re able to deploy every day to the line is really depleted.”

Vicki Gaubeca, a policy strategist at Southern Border Communities Coalition, an organization that has protested Trump’s border policies, said technology would be a better solution than the wall.

“I think that what it boils down to is that they need truly data-driven resources that are really going to be effective on the border, not just to throw good money at bad solutions,” Gaubeca said.

She emphasized that surveillance added for border security should come with privacy protections.

“I think the vast majority of Americans would feel like their private information should be safeguarded,” Gaubeca said.

She also called for more accountability and oversight of the agency, especially with hiring increases.

“My hope is that that’s what the agency is doing all the time, looking at every single incident whether there has been an injury or death and to evaluate what they could’ve done differently,” Gaubeca said. “Even in cases where the injury or the death happened to the person who they were encountering, I would hope there is some kind of review to ensure that there is some kind of prevention on both sides, on the agent’s welfare and life as well as the public’s safety.”

Testing Border Wall Prototypes

Go to the news

By Rubén Vela

LOS ANGELES, Calif., January 19 .- Recent tests by tactical teams on prototypes of the wall proposed by President Trump with Mexico indicate that its imposing heights should stop those who cross the border revealed local media.

Military special forces based in Florida and special units of US Customs and Border Protection. UU They spent three weeks trying to open and scale the eight models in San Diego, using pneumatic hammers, saws, torches and other tools and climbing devices, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was not authorized for public publication. .

A Customs and Border Protection report on the tests identifies the strengths and weaknesses of each design, but does not choose a general winner or classify them, although it does indicate that transparent steel barriers topped with concrete are the best overall design, said the official.

The report recommends combining elements of each, depending on the terrain. The official compared it with a Lego design, taking pieces of different prototypes.

Carlos Diaz, spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, said the agency is still in “the testing phase” and that the results are being evaluated. He said that combining elements of different prototypes instead of choosing a winner is consistent with previous statements of officials. He noted that the agency said in its bidding guidelines that a minimum height of 18 feet would be a key feature. He said he did not have additional details about the test results.

The contractors received between 300,000 and 500,000 dollars for each prototype.The prototypes were built in the fall to guide the future construction of one of Trump’s signature campaign promises. Four were made of concrete and four were made of other materials.

Ronald Vitiello, deputy commissioner in charge of the agency, said after visiting prototypes in October that he was hit by heights of 30 feet, which are significantly higher than existing barriers. The highest barriers are undoubtedly more effective, but if the cost is justified it will be a matter of debate.

Highly trained testers climbed 16 to 20 feet without help, but needed help after that, said the official who described the attacks on the wall prototypes to the AP. The testers also expressed safety concerns about going down from 30 feet.

Only once a tester managed to land a hook on the top of the wall without help, the official said. The tubes on top of some models repelled climbing devices but would not work in more mountainous areas because the terrain is too uneven.

The report favors steel at ground level because agents can see what is happening on the other side and the holes can be repaired more easily, the official said. With concrete, large slabs have to be replaced even by small gaps, which is time-consuming and expensive. Topping the steel with smooth concrete surfaces helps prevent climbing.

Customs and Border Protection leaders were scheduled to receive information about the findings this week amid intense White House and congressional discussions on immigration legislation to prevent the government from closing and renewing the protection of some 800,000 immigrant youth who were temporarily protected from deportation under an Obama program of the era, deferred action for the arrival of children, which is scheduled to end in March.

The administration has insisted that the financing of the wall be part of any immigration agreement, but Trump has not been clear on how long the wall will last and how it should be designed. The administration requested $ 1.6 billion this year to build or replace 74 miles of barriers in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and San Diego, and plans to request another $ 1.6 billion next year.

A proposal from Customs and Border Protection requires spending $ 18 billion dollars to increase the barriers to cover almost half of the border, although it is not clear if Trump supports that plan. The agency proposes 316 miles of additional barriers by September 2027, giving a total coverage of 970 miles. Also look for 407 miles of replacement or secondary fencing.

Mexico has firmly rejected Trump’s demand to pay for the wall.

2018 Driest in 70 Years ENSENADA, Baja California(GH)

2018 will be a year with more heat and less rain due to a system of semi -permanent high pressure, which was reinforced by the condition ‘La Niña’ and blocked the winter masses, said Santiago Higareda Cervera, Laboratory Meteorological Forecast Center Scientific research and Higher Education of Ensenada (Cicese).

“The driest year we’ve had in Ensenada was in 1953, with 86.7 millimeters of rain. In November 2017 and had 5 mm rainfall during the first 2018 fell from 24 to 25 millimeters. With that he took approximately 30, so if it does not rain more than 50 millimeters in the remainder of this season, 2018 could be the driest year in the last 70 years , “he said.

He added that for 80 years has seen the condition “El Niño” influences in this region of Mexico and part of California, generating the average coldest days and heavy rains. “La Niña”, meanwhile, is associated with less amount of precipitation and warmer days.

” We ended a neutral year and had a ‘La Niña’, which warns a dry year, the average over the past 70 years tells us that when the year ‘Niña’ expected about 90 to 150 millimeters of precipitation, however when ‘El Niño’, more than 250 millimeters of rain, which is the annual average for this area is hope , “he said.

After 1953 the driest years in Cove (caused by the condition of “La Niña”) were 1968, with 93 mm of rainfall, and 1950, with 98.2, while the year 1978 were more precipitation with 677.2 mm.; 1983, with 588.7, and 1980, with 477.8 millimeters of precipitation, however, conditions in these years “El Niño” presented intense.

“In Ensenada we live in a region where there is little rain. Our rainy season runs from October to April. In season 2017-2018 has heard that the rains were late, but that’s not entirely true, the general circulation of the atmosphere is generating systems, whether high or low pressure, and it is these that will will allow storms or cold air masses fall down or not , “he explained.

The researcher said that currently there is a system of semi – permanent high pressure, which was reinforced by the condition ‘La Niña’ and blocked the winter masses from October to December 2017 as a result there was less rain and days warmer, like in summer and not in winter.

“The port of Ensenada has a peculiarity regarding other states: the climate here is very variant, the Pacific Ocean is the same for the whole republic, but here is the California Current is a stream of cold waters from Alaska and it goes down to San Jose del Cabo, that takes to the West and back up to Alaska , “he explained.

In Mexico the entity responsible for weather information is the National Water Commission, which depends on the National Weather Service. However, besides this commission, the Navy, the Mexican Air Force, Army and other Mexican institutions make weather forecasts.

“In the Cicese will work with all these models that emit Mexican and international institutions, what we do is analyze information, see patterns and thus determine and issue the forecast for our region , ” he said.

In addition to the weather forecast, visualize are responsible for climate changes covering longer periods of time, climatological statistics and storage models later make comparative thereof.

“One of the recommendations for the population is a change of habits around what we can do with the little rainwater that reaches our region, Baja California is a state where there is little rain; That’s a reality we can not change what we can change our habits are, we must be prepared and take the little water that comes and prevent all go to the sea, “he said.

Carriage Horse Abuse ENSENADA, Baja California(GH)

Social networks circulated again a video which shows how a horse is forced to carry the weight of a calandria, however, despite the municipal government recognized since last year calenders operate erratically, so far no it has implemented actions to regulate that activity.

The video shows how two people pushing a mangle at the rear and a man pulls a rope the horse, however, the animal is weak and reluctant to continue pulling the carriage, which has caused the trouble of rescuers they have demanded better treatment for these animals.

Spokeswoman civil association They are the reason, Ana Daniela Garcia Salgado, recalled that this is the fifth documented through a video or photo, in which the abuse given to horses is displayed if transiting in tourist area.

He noted that it is the responsibility of the Urban Ecology and Environment Administration Directorate to oversee the regulation of animal protection, while the Municipal Transport Unit (UMT) should ensure that they have a permit or concession.

“There are thirteen calenders operating erratically without any permission in the tourist area and about 30 horses in the Playa Hermosa that are armarrados and are rented for walks, since last year recognized by the municipal government and so far has not been any response , “he said.

García Salgado said it is unacceptable that the municipal government does not carry out any action, although it has been documented animal abuse, because the horses remain for long hours under the sun or rain, carry excess weight, do not receive medical care and a few months ago were not worthy to drink water drinkers.

“The authority has turned a blind eye, it’s time to be put to do their job and give us response, corresponding legally is close activity immediately because they do not have permits, however they did not want do it , “he said.

The rescuer warned that if they do not see progress in the coming weeks on the subject, will choose to organize a march or demonstration at a council meeting in order that the mayor and aldermen aware about it.

Ordering Eggs in Mexico

foto por Bajadock @ Casa Marcelo, Ensenada


One of the lesser, but frequent challenges for the expat in Mexico is ordering eggs in a restaurant. If you are fussy about how you want them cooked, as many are, you should read the following primer about getting your eggs the way you want.

But before anything else, I want to confront head on the nearly apocryphal mysteries of the double meaning of the word, “huevos”. While it’s true that it also has a second meaning of “testicles”, or more accurately, “balls”, the visiting gringo or savvy expat should not worry about evoking snickers or even guffaws from the waitstaff. The staff deals with eggs all morning, and if they were constantly snickering, they’d have no time or energy left to serve customers. That sort of humor, and also about chiles (a potent phallic symbol) is best relegated to the humorous repertoire of small boys and barely pubescent adolescents.

Nota bien: if you accompany your ordering with sign language, you may provoke humor. If you personalize your order, you run further risks. For example, don’t say, “I’ll have youreggs, fried, and over easy.”
That’s personalizing it. You just want “huevos estrellados.”

Common Pitfalls In Ordering Eggs
1. “Huevos al Gusto”, literally, “eggs to your pleasure”, but really “eggs to order”.
Don’t make the mistake of a one of our visiting friends and say, “I’ll have the huevos al gusto.” The waiter will have to ask you again how you want them prepared.

2. “Huevos Estrellados”, or eggs, sunnyside up. These are among the most popular. You need not accompany your request with elaborate sign language, making what seem to the waiter to be confusing and possibly humorous gestures. You have a better chance of getting them as you like if you use those two simple words. And, “por favor”, of course.

3. “Huevos a la Mexicana”: eggs scrambled with chopped chiles, tomatoes and onions. Simply, “eggs in the style of a Mexican woman”. Try not to say, “huevos al MexicanO”, which gives a simple order a new, special meaning.

4. “Eggs, over easy” aren’t easy to order. Many restaurants don’t get the concept. You have to ask for “huevos fritos volteados”. I once mistakenly said, trying to be helpful to another breakfaster, “huevos revolcados”, or something like, “knocked down eggs”. Where did I get that?

If you are lucky, one of your breakfast companions will order eggs sunnyside up, using gestures, and his eggs will arrive revolcados, umm, volteados, and you can swap.

Let’s move along quickly now. The following egg dishes are less fraught with peril:
5. “Huevos Rancheros”: eggs sunnyside up, on top of a lightly fried tortilla or two, covered with a salsa picante. Why this is totally snigger free is a mystery.

6. “Huevos Divorciados.” Sounds spicy, and they are: two eggs, estrellados, one in salsa verde and the other in salsa roja, on top of tortillas. This is a gringo favorite, especially those who have been in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

7. “Huevos revueltos”: I almost forgot them! Scrambled eggs. They are seldom cooked as I like, so I do not order them while breakfasting out.

8. “Omeleta” Sounds like “omelet”, and it is. Usually made with two eggs, and filled “al gusto”. What does “al gusto” mean? Class???
“As you like.”, that’s right. Muy bien.

So, you will need to specify what you want in it. “Tocino” (bacon), “queso”, (cheese); “cebolla” (onion), et cetera. Omelets are usually attractively garnished with onion, tomato and avocado, so you get a bonus for your breakfast pesos.

Special hint: The Omeleta de espárragos, cebolla, nopal y queso at the Gran Hotel Café in Pátzcuaro is a delight.

9. “Huevos Albañil”, or “Stonemason’s eggs”; scrambled eggs drowned in a very spicy sauce. Order this, as I do, when you want to be a cool, Old Mexico Hand.

10. Poached eggs: in general, don’t even try, unless you are in the restaurant of an international hotel. My Spanish-English digital dictionary yields the word, “escalfar” for “poached”, but we have had some limited success with “huevos pocheados”. Don’t get your hopes up. Please, whatever you do don’t call them “huevos pochos“.

There are other ways of preparing eggs, but the above listed are among the most commonly encountered. For further information, sign up for our advanced Huevos Clase.

Always be polite, and say “Por favor” and “gracias” at appropriate times. Try to keep gestures and especially sign language to the minimum. They look rude.

Finally, try to remember that Patience Is A Virtue, and that glitches in service do not occur only in Mexico. I’ll end with a video drama, made in an American diner, to keep things in perspective.

This is probably my last post of 2008. We’ll be travelling to México D.F., Puebla, and then spending a couple of weeks on Oaxaca. I hope to be observing, tasting and even cooking while we are there. With luck and energy, I’ll report back on our experiences.
May you have una Feliz Navidad y Provechoso Año Nuevo 2009!


4% Electricity Increase

Bajadock: Last week’s announced 200%+ increases were deemed a “calculating error”.  Hmmm, a calculated error makes the actual 4.3% increase quite mild.  How to boil a frog?

Multiplier factor and reduced electricity prices will increase only 4.3 percent 

After they were announced new tariffs for the Federal Electricity Commission in Baja California which increased the cost of service twice, businessmen and representatives of the CESPE whose supply depends on pumping, they held two meeting with executives of the CFE Mexico City.

At this meeting productive enterprise of state agreed he made a mistake in the factors used to calculate the new rate, for this reason it was agreed that 300 companies Ensenada and CESPE will not be suspended supplies Monday, court date.

Canacintra reported that the CFE issue a new bill in line with reality and reduce all multipliers in basic, intermediate and peak above the receipt had a multiplier factor called distribution and capacity, which caused the dreaded “tarifazo”.

While the last receipt of businesses 100 percent increases were recorded CFE ensures that changing the multiplier factors alone will increase by 4 percent annualized.

Best Fun of 2017

Last week, wrote about my Best of Baja food and beverage experiences of 2017.  In so many ways, this past year was a renaissance of my spirit with family, friends and fun. Here are some of my Best Fun of 2017 highlights:

Attitude adjustment and house remodel(front side photo above) were my best improvements for 2017, with new entry, curtains, paint color and outlook heading into my new adventures.

Best Sign of the Apocolypse: Rosarito fire in October

Best workout: Bodyweight workout followed by legs/chest/arms weights followed by intervals on this hill

Best Love Thy Neighbor Advice

Best Sunrise

Best Sunset

Best Optimism

Best Movie:  Hidden Figures  (I video my movies, as I have not been out to a flick since 2004), Thanks W, for the reminder.

Best Car Rental: CPE Isuzu Trooper Rent-A-Car, gracias!

Best Unfair Fight, Four on 1

Best Home Dinner: chili verde

Best Street Performer: No fire, no tricks, no assistants, no juggling…just a man and his bottle….Wowzers

Best Street Performer with Fire: The Silver Man Clan, Tramo de Muerte

Best Green Flash: Edgar Lima

Best Jail

Best Alternative Workout Studio: Angie’s Pole Fitness

Best Road Trip: Reno to Ensenada, September, was my first trip through the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Can’t wait to return and spend more time soaking in the scenery.

Best Christmas Decoration

Best Birds and Bees Do It Photo

Best Happy Hour: l’chaim

Best Wine & Food Pairing: Bocelli Sangiovese and cauliflower crust pizza.

Best Bubbles

Best Bubbles Saluting Flag

Best Mom


Best music: Jean-Luc Ponty, “Renaissance”

Best Photo: Owl in my front yard.  Certainly not a great composition, but, it was fascinating to share the moon with this little guy perched on top of a pvc pole lot marker.

Best Moments with family and friends, thank you.  Cheers to our adventures and new friends this year.  Ring my bell soon.


Welcome to Ensenada

Arriba Ensenada Facebook

Hello good afternoon I want to mention the bus terminal here in Ensenada, being a port city and tourism, I express my displeasure and that of many people who need your service which is a neglected, dirty, the treatment of staff Most of the time it is the most mediocre and disrespectful. The smell of the bathrooms comes from when you enter and you have to put up with it the whole time you are sitting, some people have to be more than an hour, they have a very despota staff (not all). I mention this because I regularly take this service and because of the muddy mud they have outside, even a wood or even pieces of cardboard could put is the last straw that did not have that minimal attention by customers, I saw a lady from the elderly very old with their tennis full of mud. I would have liked to have time to talk to the person in charge. I just wanted to mention it, thanks.

CFE Forgives Electricity Increase Payment

Entrepreneurs reject the new charging scheme in electricity tariffs.

CFE agreed not to cut the power companies not to pay Baja California. Entrepreneurs reject the new charging scheme in electricity tariffs.

In December a new charging scheme consumption of electricity for commercial and industrial sector throughout the country, which could cause companies to pay up to 300% compared to the previous year entered into force.

For companies in Mexicali the new collection has a greater impact since it is determined based on the maximum consumption and during the summer electricity consumption soars, compared to other months.

The new scheme, warned the Secretary of INDEX in Mexicali, Joaquin Jimenez is invaluable for businesses, and can bring as direct consequences, increases in commodity prices and that many bajacalifornianos lose their jobs.

At a press conference the representatives of the agencies that make up the Business Coordinating Mexicali Council warned that this situation mainly affects Baja California, and for this reason several businessmen traveled with the Governor of the City of Mexico to raise the issue in a meeting with directors of the National Energy Commission.

As we reach a solution agreed not to cut the CFE light to companies that do not pay.

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