Category Archives: Travel

Gas Station Strike March 30


elvigia

Gasoline companies from Baja California and Sonora will suspend work at gas stations of both entities for a few hours next March 30, in protest of the charges that they consider excessive for the certification of the quality of the fuels.

Pablo González Córdova, president of the Mexican Association of Petrol Employers, reported that it has already been confirmed that this protest could be carried out in more than 500 stations of the two states.

The strike would be from eight in the morning to two in the afternoon of March 30, and one of the causes, said González Córdova, is the claim of the federal government to charge 400,000 pesos a year to each service station For the certification of the quality of the fuels that are sold.

Likewise, there is a rejection of the schedule established by the Energy Regulatory Commission to continue the process of price release, when the right conditions do not yet exist.

He explained that, according to the new regulations, each station has to carry out four tests per year of certification of the quality of the fuels it expends, and each one of these analyzes has a cost of one hundred thousand pesos.

For each year they would be paying 400 thousand pesos for each season, which will affect mainly the small and medium businessmen of the sector, who will not be able to make those payments, assured the president of the Mexican Association of Gasoline Employers.

In addition, only certain laboratories authorized by the Agency for Safety, Energy and Environment, Asea, are the only ones that can make such revisions, which is a “cochupo” round, said González Cordoba.

Bus Burns on Scenic Road


Headed northbound on Scenic Road(highway 1) Sunday morning and smoke horizon greeted me, just north of El Mirador(K84). My photo is just before 9AM.

Delay was approx 40 minutes.

This is my weak shot, passing by.  Shadow and mirror clues.  I’m not skilled at phone photography with one hand.

Here is the crunchy skeleton of the former bus, 15 hours later during my southbound trip.  I suspected the carcass would reamain roadside.  Towing this would be a “bus of cards”.  Likely need to dismantle it.

Saw plenty of passengers safely watching the smoke from approx 100 yds north.  Seems all were okay, as no ambulances were present.  Capufe(highway team) and a couple of bomberos were present.

Thinking it was good that the problem did not occur in the 1 lane zone of Salsipuedes.

Listened to The Zombies to pass the time waiting.  “She’s Not There.”

Only other remarkable report was the Sunday evening(6:30PM) backup north and south at the Ensenada toll booth.  My wait was 10 minutes southbound.  Guessing that the beer fiesta crowd was mostly responsible for the northbound delay.

Weekly Scenic Road Crack Report


Bajadock: Baja news cycle is stuck on potholes, border tunnels, highway landslides, murders and political corruption.  Whatever happened to the Corona beach commercials and hot babes in bikinis promoting Tecate?

Flag dude reminds me of the Lifelock ads: “I’m just a highway landslide monitor, not a highway landslide fixer. Lunch?”

afntijuana

ENSENADA BC, MARCH 16, 2017 (AFN) .- Researchers at the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada (Cicese), established a comparative basis with data taken every 15 days, to know the speed of fractures located in The scenic highway Tijuana-Ensenada and found five new cracks in kilometers 92 and 95, which does not mean that there is a risk, said Luis Mendoza Garcilazo, a researcher in the department of seismology.

He acknowledged that the infrastructure works that are carried out in the area as a preventive measure, are run by a nationally recognized companies and, certainly, are well thought out and well designed, he said.

“They are within the plan to improve safety, they are retaining walls, filtering galleries, I hope the nature does not win the work,” he said.

Fortunately, he said, gliding is a slow phenomenon. The kilometer 93 was already several years down.

Mendoza Garcilazo mentioned that the fault zone is well instrumented with piezometers, inclinometers, among other constant measuring instruments.

The researcher pointed out that the tasks of observation and measurement performed in the area and keeping an eye on the movements of that artery are “in case we can help or give some warning, especially the companies that are working.”

Corrective works in process

It should be mentioned that it was recently reported that corrective and preventive works carried out at different points on the Tijuana-Ensenada Scenic Highway, at the Salsipuedes Bay, will cost over one billion pesos.

The works will conclude in 2018 and are performed in the detected faults along 13 kilometers where, since 2014, constant studies and monitoring are carried out.

There are 125 control points, 33 piezometers and 16 observation tubes to measure the water and the pressure of the same.

Canadian Wall?


The border officer’s union in Canada wants to beef up security along the United States border after 382 people made asylum claims at a single entry point in January and a further 200 entered illegally in the last week.

Jean-Pierre Fortin, president of the Customs and Immigration Union, said he believes there are more illegal crossings taking place than officials are aware of.

One port in Quebec has experienced a particularly large number of asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants – the Saint Bernard Lecolle in the small town of Emerson, Manitoba, just outside of Montreal.

Fortin said that last week alone, at least 200 immigrants entered the country illegally near the Lecolle port. He said the influx began in November 2016 – the month Donald Trump was elected president.

The border officer's union in Canada believes that the country needs to upgrade presence along the United States border after 382 people reportedly made asylum claims at a single entry point in January

The border officer’s union in Canada believes that the country needs to upgrade presence along the United States border after 382 people reportedly made asylum claims at a single entry point in January

Jean-Pierre Fortin, president of the Customs and Immigration Union, said those on the ground have said there are more illegal crossings taking place than officials are aware of

Jean-Pierre Fortin, president of the Customs and Immigration Union, said those on the ground have said there are more illegal crossings taking place than officials are aware of

Officials say that people are crossing the border illegally about eight kilometers down the road with their belongings in tow, according to CTV News.

The CIU are suggesting a 300-person team to man the areas in between official entry points – and that the border right now is ‘like swiss cheese’.

He continued: ‘Since last November up to now, there’s a clear trend. It’s climbing. It’s going up.’

Fortin believes that in order to provide the security he would find ideal, more than 1,000 jobs would need to be reinstated that were previously cut.

One port in Quebec has experienced a particularly large number of asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants - the Saint Bernard Lecolle in the small town of Emerson, Manitoba, just outside of Montreal

One port in Quebec has experienced a particularly large number of asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants – the Saint Bernard Lecolle in the small town of Emerson, Manitoba, just outside of Montreal

The government  is willing to put more resources in place to deal with the influx of asylum-seekers from the United States, federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Saturday.

Goodale visited Emerson, Manitoba, a small border town that has seen more than 200 illicit crossings so far this year.

‘We all need to work together. We have to have good communication with one another. This is a set of issues that span national, provincial and local responsibilities,’ Goodale told reporters at a conference Saturday.

Goodale announced US$22,000 to cover extra costs borne by Emerson-Franklin’s volunteer fire department and other agencies in the community, saying more resources will become available.

Dramatic photos show asylum seekers flooding into Canada across unmanned borders every day from the United States amid fears of a Donald Trump presidency. An extended family of eight people from Colombia were detained by the Canadian Mounted Police officers near Hemmingford, Quebec, last week

Dramatic photos show asylum seekers flooding into Canada across unmanned borders every day from the United States amid fears of a Donald Trump presidency. An extended family of eight people from Colombia were detained by the Canadian Mounted Police officers near Hemmingford, Quebec, last week

A group of asylum seekers  two men, a woman and a baby  cross the border illegally from the United States into Canada near Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec

A group of asylum seekers two men, a woman and a baby cross the border illegally from the United States into Canada near Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec

More asylum seekers are crossing illegally into Canada from the U.S., many trekking across snow-covered fields along unguarded stretches of the border, in the wake of the Trump administration’s push to tighten immigration rules

More asylum seekers are crossing illegally into Canada from the U.S., many trekking across snow-covered fields along unguarded stretches of the border, in the wake of the Trump administration’s push to tighten immigration rules

At least 450 people crossed illegally in January and February, despite bitter cold that usually discourages such traffic, government officials said. In all of last year, the total was 2,400

At least 450 people crossed illegally in January and February, despite bitter cold that usually discourages such traffic, government officials said. In all of last year, the total was 2,400

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency have shifted some resources in southern Manitoba to the Emerson area. The border services agency recently set up a trailer to help process the border-crossers.

The Manitoba government has said the influx has created more demand for housing and other support services.

Migrants have been crossing through fields and ditches because, under the Canada-United States Safe Third Country Agreement, they are turned back at official border crossings if they have already made refugee claims in the U.S.

Canada, however, adheres to the UN Convention on Refugees, obligating them to hear out asylum claims for people who are already within the territories of the country, which could be prompting the increased illegal entries.

Unaccompanied minors and those with close relatives in Canada are permitted to make asylum claims from the United States at the border entry.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4284086/Canada-border-control-union-suggests-increased-patrols.html#ixzz4aYcNtUud
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Feb 24 Hwy1 Pothole Report


I’m a monthly San Diego shopper, though I live 2 hours south in Ensenada.  Hunted down some needed household items on Thursday, Feb 24.  Bath and bed upgrades plus new hiking shoes and sharp cheddar cheese were my big thrills.

Here is my February 24 Hwy 1 pothole report, and a few more reasons not to drive at night, unless you like surprises:

tjchapbache

Right lane at Tijuana south crossing, just before bridge taking you west to Hwy1/TJ Playas, has a big chunk of concrete missing.  This is approx 100m past the Tijuana secondary inspection station.  This bache(pothole) has been around for a few months.  Good news was that southbound border trafic wait took only approx 10 minutes at 3PM Friday.

Most of TJ-Ens hwy1 is easy going and no drama.  Even the rumble warning bumps in right lane at El Mirador, k84, just before descending into the dangerous Salsipuedes curves have been worn down to the nubs.

salsi1lane17

The Salsipuedes payment “waves”are still present, although the constant repavement provides a smooth tire path.  The inland lanes have been shut down so traffic is merged to one lane in each direction for a couple of miles.

uabcbache17

Noticed new crumbling and big hole under the UABC bridge, just before the Ensenada welcome fountain.  Wow, this one caught me by surprise.  OUCH.

ensestanciabache17

Estancia blvd to Reforma…WOW…last 1/4 mile west was closed due to Carnaval, but the entire stretch east and west from Costero/Playa Hermosa to Hwy1/Reforma is a mess of craters.  fyi, Estancia is landmarked by Ocean’s Restaurant and Mariscos Barbajan on Costero.  It is the inland turn I use most often to get from Costero back to Hwy1, aka Av Reforma.

estanciapemexbache

Special note goes to the family of caves in the pavement at the Pemex on Estancia/Reforma corner.  This fun spot has been a pain for a few years.  They always bandage it, but it comes back to life after big rains.

comexbache17

Costco/Comercial Mex entries are painful due to pavement failure.  Yep, despite the whirlwind day in San Diego, I usually grab my fruit and veggies at Comercial Mex on the way home.  The fourway spot of Costco vs. Comex and the street can be a traffic jam.  Now that the moguls are deep, adventure shopping ensues.

Did score some good avocados at Comex.  My perfect aguacates(avocados) are firm and 3-5 days away from serving squishyness.

agenciamodelo

Here is an oasis among baches(potholes).  A case of Pacifico ballenas(940ml) is only 276mnp.  That works out to approx 42 cents per 12 ounce beer at Dockerty’s Pub.  I often travel north with an empty case of Pacificos in order to exchange them on my southbound trip home.  I occasionally get a fun “what are the empty bottles for?” at San Ysidro border crossing.

Notice the peso slightly strengthening vs. dollar past week?

truckdepotbache17

Truck Depot intersection of Hwy 1 south of Baja Country Club has a huge hole and have seen accidents at this spot.  Southbound left lane, just past the intersection where the truck is raised up on the platform, is the hole, where an AMC Gremlin could hide.  Yesterday, there was a metal plate covering the spot.

tramodemuerte17

All of Tramo de Muerto, the southbound stretch of Hwy 1 on north side of Maneadero is terrifying.  Wow that area is bad and getting worse each week due to heavy traffic. They have rehabbed and repaved much of the stretch from Baja Country Club north.  But BCC SOUTH?  Ugh.  Of course, part of the thrill is watching traffic weave around the holes at 60mph.

What is your favorite Highway 1 pothole for 2017???

San Ysidro Southbound Inspections


Vehicles traveling southbound towards the Chaparral Border crossingat Friday afternoon rush hour. Commuters say an increase in southbound inspections by U.S. Customs and Border Protection has caused congestion at other times of day as well. (Alejandro Tamayo / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Bajadock: we first reported on southbound inspections at San Ysidro in January 2012.

For many cross-border commuters, northbound waits are part of the routine. But  in recent weeks, growing numbers say they have been facing lengthy southbound waits as well.

Crossers such as Tijuana resident Mara Camacho, whose children attend school in Lemon Grove, complain of maddeningly slow southbound traffic when returning to Mexico — the result of intensified screenings by U.S. Customs and Border Protection of drivers preparing to leave the United States.

“There’s more of a problem getting into Mexico than getting out of Mexico,” said Camacho, a U.S. citizen who works as a realtor in Tijuana.

While the family is able to cross fairly quickly to San Diego in the SENTRI lanes for crossers who have undergone background checks,  they are coming to expect long lines to get back home. On weekday afternoons, “my kids are doing an average of 50 minutes of border wait,” Camacho said.

She is not alone: Complaints about southbound waits have been appearing repeatedly in recent days on Facebook pages where border commuters communicate about the border lines in both directions.

While President Donald Trump has vowed to increase border security, CBP officials say these outbound inspections are not the result of any directive from the new administration. The southbound screenings are just business as usual, said Sally Carrillo, assistant port director at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

“We’re always doing them, it’s part of our routine enforcement,” Carrillo said. “We’re looking for weapons, we’re looking for money that’s going out of the country, we’re not going to stop that.”

Critics of the southbound screenings such as Jason Wells, executive director of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce, question their benefits. ”We think that it’s unnecessary and repetitive. We don’t ask Mexico to pre-inspect  what comes northbound.”

Wells said “the timing was terrible…with the administration change, sentiments are just all over the board, why would you heighten inspection during that time?”

Unlike northbound inspections, which screen every crosser, the southbound inspections are occasional and unannounced. “We call it pulse and surge,” Carrillo said Thursday during a breakfast meeting on Thursday hosted by the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce.

Drivers have remarked that the CBP inspections lead to the closing of three lanes leading toward Mexico, creating a traffic bottleneck, even if officers are not inspecting vehicles. Carrillo said the aim of closing off lanes is “so that people will slow down and afford us the opportunity” to conduct inspections.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a statement that reads: “We do not comment on the number, frequency, or timing of outbound inspections.”

The statement adds that the outbound inspections are conducted “when resources permit,” and that they have “successfully stopped child abduction, interdicted criminals fleeing prosecution, interdicted illegal contraband such as controlled substances, precursor drugs, and arms, and uncovered myriad other violations involving currency reporting requirements, stolen vehicles, trade, and immigration.”

 

Baja Storm Lucifer 2017


Bajadock: Best wishes for friends and neighbors for Baja’s second big storm of 2017 beginning today and ending Sunday.  Big winds expected, rain should be moderate.  LUCIFER?  Hunker down.  Mephistopheles should be next week.  Horns up!

1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour

lucifer17

Launches Ensenada prealerta by gusts of wind of more than 100 kilometers per hour

Go to the news

monitoreconomico

Ensenada, Baja California, February 16.- The head of the Municipal Civil Protection Directorate, Jaime Nieto de María y Campos reported that it is expected that the rains predicted from this Friday will extend until Sunday.

He explained that based on a warning issued by the State Coordination of Civil Protection, atypical winds are expected with bursts of up to 100 kilometers per hour from the Pacific coast to the mountains of Sierra de Juárez and up to more than 120 kilometers per hour in San Pedro Martyr.

Jaime Nieto said that these winds could cause severe damage to structures such as spectacular advertisements, power lines, poles, trees, walls, poor houses or poor buildings.

He pointed out that the areas that are most at risk and which will pay particular attention are the corridor from Punta Colonet to El Rosario, the urban area of Ensenada, the towns of San Luis Gonzaga Bay and Bay of Angels in Gulf of California.

Regarding precipitation, he pointed out that continuous rains are expected during Friday night and Saturday morning until Parallel 28 and the Sea of Cortez with accumulations that could reach two inches.

“The rains would leave significant flooding in urban areas and roads, flooded with canyons, streets, canals and fords, slope erosion with mudflows, mudslides, weakening of foundations in buildings and flooding on fast water avenues,” he said. .

He added that snowfall is forecast above 2,000 meters above sea level, so that only affect the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir; While a surge of up to five meters in height could occur.

Finally, the official urged the population to take precautions, avoid risky situations and stay alert of official reports that are issued as the storm progresses.

Ensenada Latitude and Longitude


enslatlon

Bajadock

I’m a fan of maps and directions.  For some of my east coast friends that have not yet visited my home in Ensenada, they are surprised at how far north and east I’m located. My Florida buds always thought I was in the Miami range for longitude.

Ensenada is within a few miles latitude(North/South) of Savannah, Georgia.  Nada town is also within spitting distance of Boise’s longitude(East/West).

One of my surprises moving here 10 years ago was that sunsets are approximately an hour earlier than my previous life in Denver, Colorado.  Ensenada is Pacific Time Zone.  But, we are so far east, that we are geographically in the Mountain Time Zone.  The USA west coast darts toward the east from Northern California.  Though I’m on the coast, my longitude is more than 300 miles east of San Francisco.

Water sports fans are also surprised on their first visits to Southern California and Baja.  Thinking that the water is going to be the same temps as Southern Florida will cause you some major shrinkage, boyz.  Get your wetsuit on!

A fun world tour is to find out what cities are near your same parallel/latitude.  MapFrappe.com is a fun tool that lets you draw lat/long lines around the globe.

ensworldlat

Marrakesh, Jerusalem, Kandahar and Shanghai share the same blue line latitude with me.  Gets me in a travel planning mood.

Thin Blue Line of Death


The authorities in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, recommend domestic and foreign tourists to follow the path traced in the main streets and avenues of the port to keep guarded by police areas. Photo Javier Valdez

Bajadock: Like the Escalera Nautica idea of multiple marinas to attract boaters, every popular Mexican tourist city could create their “Linea Azul”.   “Stay along the blue line and your chances of being assalted or murdered are low.  But, you will enjoy every type of street hawker, hooker and time share sales available in our fair city.”  Bienvenidos.

jornadabc.mx

Mazatlan 31 January.-  If possible divide the paradise of hell, Mazatlan authorities did with a blue line: a line in streets and avenues of important sectors of this port that domestic and foreign tourists should follow if they want be in danger, even death.

The line starts at the pier, where tourists come from cruise ships; It crosses the street Emilio Barragan enters the area called South Beach (between the pier and the historic center), followed by the Carnival Avenue, crosses the Boulevard Miguel Aleman and ends on the steps of the Plaza Machado and Teatro Angela Peralta.

Follow or not this verges on bicycle, on foot, by taxi or car itself can be the difference between being in the middle of a firefight or enjoy the mazatleco sun, the sea wind, a beer against sunset or coffee in the old pier.

Mazatlan rotted. Their violence competes with Culiacan, the state capital. In the first 30 days of this year they have been committed in Sinaloa at least 106 murders, 40 of them in the port of Mazatlan and Culiacan and the rest in other municipalities.

The government of Quirino Coppel Ordaz began the last day of 2016 and drug groups already noted. Commander Juan Antonio Murillo, former secretary of public security official Mazatlan and Attorney General of the state, was shot and wounded and two of his three bodyguards were killed.

Two other agents, including the operating supervisor of the municipal police in Culiacan, were kidnapped on Jan. 27 and shot a commander with a group of suspected gunmen in the capital faced.

Mazatlan, once safe and peaceful people who get up late and wear shorts and flip flops to work, early drunkenness and eternal bohemian port is sick of insecurity and violence caused by drug trafficking.

The  cartel  of the Beltran Leyva -presuntamente in alliance with cells  cartel  Jalisco  New Generation  – death struggle with the  cartel  of Sinaloa for the drug market in the southern state.

Up to eight murders in one day

The crime rate in the region has increased since 2016. Cells from rival organizations  cartel  of Sinaloa enter through the border with Nayarit and operate from Escuinapa, El Rosario, Concordia and Mazatlan, whose mountainous area in the north of the town, serves as a den for armed groups.

On the one hand, hell, bullets, nothing. The other, the patrols, the police operations, guide services and guidance. Everyone knows, even those that offer services and products to tourists, especially cruises, which leave more profits to the local industry and commerce.

Taxi drivers, owners and drivers of  pneumonias  (car hire discovered and windowless, preferred by walkers) and who offer rides in small boats know to follow the blue line.

Like they do with violence. It speaks softly to refer to it and not affect tourism. “Do not you dare go to Lazarus,” says a student at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa to another that is not the port. The colony Lazaro Cardenas is a couple of kilometers from the center and three or four blocks from the blue line. There are no drugs, weapons, assaults, robberies, shootings.

“It was like a rain of bullets,” say neighbors told reporters, referring to what happened on December 2, 2016, when an armed group attacked residents of the street Lazaro Cardenas Teniente Azueta. Three men were killed and one was wounded while trying to flee on a motorcycle. This year has been up to eight murders in one day in Mazatlan.

Law enforcement operations have been unsuccessful. With the new state government, about one thousand 800 elements of the military police are in the 18 municipalities of the state and began by Mazatlan. On January 27 they captured 14 men, most muggers,  drug dealers , vandals and gangsters. Not a single gunman from either sides. These, like the good boxers, enter, hit and go.

“Quietly. The killings are said quietly, so as not to affect tourism,” says an employee of a restaurant when asked about the wave of killings never seen in Mazatlan, and less in such a short time.

A taxi driver says that it is “a problem between the people of the drug,” but “unfortunately is affecting everyone.” He fears that new cruise companies put Mazatlan on the blacklist and stop them from reaching tourists.

Since arriving at the port, before lowering cruises, passersby are warned: follow the line. On the way to the blue line, tourists run into preventive agents of the municipal and state police, to reach the square or main garden, the cathedral and market.

Follow the line can be the difference. Deviating from the blue line painted on the surface of boulevards, sidewalks seawall and in the streets would go into the backyard of this city, the second largest of Sinaloa, stained corpses and messages posted on them, disrupted by infernal steps of gunmen from both sides.

So follow the blue line taxi drivers, tourist services and walkers. You have to follow to stay out of hell that adjoins the poor and wounded mazatleco paradise.

Feb 5 Mexico Shopping Boycott


Bajadock:  responding to a few emails on how this protest is going to progress…”Tijuana/Rosarito/Ensenada Mexicans shop in San Diego as if it were Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom”.    Any short term anti-USA shopping will be short lived.  Pocketbooks beat political acts.  

The choices, variety, quality and value of goods are hard to beat in the USA.  Want another comparison?  Compare Tijuana vs San Diego craigslist for ANY item.

jornadabc.mx

Movement “a few hours in Mexico” calls for Tijuana society to not cross the United States on February 5, in order to send a message to the administration of Trump on the “peso” which has the Mexican community in the economy of the border region.

The initiative spread through social networks called “give a moment to Mexico” and invites the community to not consume any product or go to work in the neighboring country between 8:00 and 15:00 hours on the first Sunday February as a protest against the recent measures of President Donald Trump and as a sign that Mexicans “have dignity.”

The Non Governmental Organization native of Tijuana, headed by a law graduate, Carlos Barboza Castillo, authors of the initiative # UnasHorasPorMéxico, recalled that the Calibaja area, although made up of cities from different countries and divided by a wall, is seen by residents as a region.

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