American Boaters off the Baja Coast will Need to Have Papers in Order

American Boaters off the Baja Coast will Need to Have Papers in Order

Jul 30, 2015

Without a fence to mark the international boundary, crossing by boat from San Diego into Mexico might seem deceptively easy. But San Diego sport fishermen and others drawn to the waters off Baja California should take heed: Mexico’s federal government has been stepping up inspections, checking for passports, tourist permits, fishing permits and other documents. Until now, violators have been issued warnings and told to turn around. But this week, the Mexican government announced its intention to crack down on violators. That could mean boats being towed to Ensenada for an administrative process and immediate deportation of the crew and passengers. Although violators won’t face charges, “it will be an inconvenience,” said María de los Remedios Gómez Arnau, head of the Mexican Consulate in San Diego. The warning is being issued through Mexican consulates across California, and as far as western Canada and Arizona, and states that the “Mexican Navy and immigration authorities are strengthening their presence in Mexican waters.” According to Mexico’s federal government, 40,000 to 50,000 tourist vessels cross into Mexico each year, many for fishing but others for other activities such as racing or cruising. Although fishing permits long have been required, the federal government has more recently been asking foreign visitors to comply with Mexican immigration regulations, requiring them to carry passports and tourist permits when inside the country’s territorial waters, within 12 miles of the coastline. Known as an FMM, the visitor permit costs about $21. In recent years, the requirements have been cause for confusion. “I think the core of the issue in many cases is that people are willing to follow the rules; they’re just not sure what they are,” said Ken Franke, president of the Sportfishing Assn. of California, which represents 170 marine recreational businesses. Mexico has been working with members of the San Diego boating community to clarify the rules. In March, the country’s federal government launched a website and app that include links and instructions in English and Spanish for obtaining fishing and visitors permits. Sharon Cloward, president of the San Diego Port Tenants Assn., said she worries that some may not yet have received word of Mexico’s plans to pursue immigration violators. “The...

Former LAPD Assistant Chief Assigned to Clean up Corruption in Calexico’s Police Department

Former LAPD Assistant Chief Assigned to Clean up Corruption in Calexico’s Police Department

Jul 30, 2015

According to LA Times reporter Joel Rubin, Mike Bostic, a former assistant chief with the LAPD, is under contract to clean up corruption in Calexico’s Police Department. Sitting hard up against a towering rusted fence that separates the United States from Mexico, this city is for most a dreary gantlet of fast-food restaurants and gas stations on the way to one of Calexico’s two official border crossings. Calexico wasn’t a place that Mike Bostic had ever visited. In fact, the former high-ranking Los Angeles police official thought it was in Mexico until he got a call from its new city manager in September. The call led to a secret meeting in a San Diego hotel room. There, the city manager, Richard Warne, told Bostic that a group of veteran cops was running the department like a fiefdom, taking home big overtime checks while very little police work was getting done. Calexico needed a new police chief, Warne said. And he wanted Bostic for the job. But after three decades in the Los Angeles Police Department, Bostic had been out of policing for years, trading his badge for the tailored suits of the corporate world. The healthy paychecks, along with a six-figure pension check each year from the LAPD, had left him, he said, “with more money than I could ever spend.” Sure, Bostic, 63, liked the idea of being a chief — he had been unceremoniously pushed aside at the end of his LAPD career and later made an unsuccessful bid to be chief of a quiet Orange County city. But putting a police uniform back on had stopped being part of his plan long ago — never mind for a hard-on-its-luck border town of 40,000 where residents and elected officials say years of political infighting has created a revolving door for public servants, and where faith in the Police Department has dwindled.   And yet Bostic is a man driven by his strong faith in two things: Christianity and himself. He couldn’t shake Warne’s offer. “I just know that this is one of those things that God wanted me to do,” he said. “If you are a believer, you can’t ignore it.” One afternoon...

Microbrews account for a tiny percentage of Mexican beer sales, but are growing in popularity

Microbrews account for a tiny percentage of Mexican beer sales, but are growing in popularity

Jul 29, 2015

Rodrigo Escudero comes from thoroughbred Mexican beer stock, Coronas and Tecates coursing through his family’s veins. From his immigrant great-great-grandfather on down, his forebears worked for the country’s two mega-breweries, and he started his own career as an intern with the world’s largest beer exporter, Grupo Modelo, maker of the college and beach-party favorite Corona. “It was my dream job,” he said. “The smell. The people. The vibe.” Now Escudero, 31, finds himself happier working with a single colleague in a cramped second-story office surrounded by samplers of oatmeal stouts, citra hops pale ales and barleywines. His tiny company, La Patrona, is in the vanguard of a boozy renaissance that is challenging what it means to be Mexican beer. As the country’s middle class expands and regulators step in to encourage competition, the craft beer scene has taken off. “It’s really growing fast,” said Gilbert Nielsen, the owner of the craft brewery Calavera, on the outskirts of Mexico City. “We’re reaching a critical mass of customers, of people who like craft beer and will look for it.” From trendy rooftop beer gardens to grungy punk bars to 100-label tasting rooms, Mexican micro-beers of all kinds are flourishing. And what is happening in the beer market, with its upstart tequila-barrel-aged ales and banana brews, is something that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government hopes to encourage in other industries as the economy develops. It has taken steps to break long-standing monopolies, most prominently the telecom empire of billionaire Carlos Slim, and later this month plans to auction off oil blocks to foreign companies for the first time in the better part of a century. For generations, two companies, Grupo Modelo and Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, had a stranglehold on the loyalties of Mexican drinkers. Their duopoly dominated the $20 billion market, and their exclusivity contracts with bars and restaurants meant that customers could buy beers only from one of their lines. They made all the well-known Mexican brands: Modelo brews Corona, Pacifico and Negro Modelo, while Cuauhtemoc makes Dos Equis, Tecate and Sol. Challengers often found themselves strong-armed out of business by the mega-brewers, which could offer restaurants and bars perks such as renovations, televisions, tables and...

Solar Technology To Build World’s First Underground Park In NYC

Solar Technology To Build World’s First Underground Park In NYC

Jul 27, 2015

We’re living in an age of extremely ambitious urban technology. Floating pools that filter dirty river water. Artificial eco-habitats. And even green parks that sit under cities, nourished by actual sunlight literally piped down from above. The Lowline, formally known as the Delancey Underground, is a proposal for the world’s first underground park in the New York City borough of Manhattan that would be located under the eastbound roadway of Delancey Street on the Lower East Side, adjacent to the Essex Street station (J M Z trains). Co-founders James Ramsey and Dan Barasch have suggested natural light would be directed below ground using fiber optics—described in the proposed plan as “remote skylights” to provide an area in which trees and grass could be grown beneath the city streets. Light collectors would be placed at ground level, with suggested locations, including the median on Delancey Street. Artificial lighting would be used to supplement the redirect sunlight, and at night and when the sun is obscured by clouds. The area, with ceilings 20 feet (6.1 m) high, extends three blocks east from Essex Street to Clinton Street and was used until 1948 as a station and balloon loop for streetcarscrossing the Williamsburg Bridge to and from Brooklyn.[4][5] R. Boykin Curry IV is the third urban entrepreneur behind the proposal. Concept The Lowline is a plan to use innovative solar technology to illuminate an historic trolley terminal on the Lower East Side of New York City. Our vision is a stunning underground park, providing a beautiful respite and a cultural attraction in one of the world’s most dense, exciting urban environments. The Site The proposed location is the one-acre former Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal, just below Delancey Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The site was opened in 1908 for trolley passengers, but has been unused since 1948 when trolley service was discontinued. Despite six decades of neglect, the space still retains some incredible features, like remnant cobblestones, crisscrossing rail tracks and vaulted ceilings. It is also directly adjacent to the existing JMZ subway track at the Essex Street subway stop– so park visitors and subway riders would interact daily. This hidden historic site is located in one of the...

An interview with Consuelo Loera, “El Chapo’s” Mother

An interview with Consuelo Loera, “El Chapo’s” Mother

Jul 26, 2015

Mother of legendary Mexican drug kingpin “El Chapo Guzmán” gave PBS a revealing interview about her son. Even before he broke out of prison for a second time in July 2015, Joaquín Guzmán Loera became a legend in Mexico’s long and bloody battle against its cartels. Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug kingpin known as “El Chapo” (Shorty), is once again one of the world’s most wanted men, following his second escape from a Mexican prison on Saturday July 11th, 2015. His Sinaloa cartel, Mexico’s largest trafficker of cocaine, heroin and marijuana, has orchestrated violence that has lead to thousands of deaths in recent years. Drugs from its operations are sold in the U.S. and across the world, and Guzmán’s net worth has previously been estimated at more than $1 billion. According to a rare interview with Guzmán’s mother, Consuelo Loera, that was aired on PBS FRONTLINE on Tuesday, July 21, her son dreamt of building an empire for as long as she could remember. “Even as a little child, he had ambitions,” Loera told filmmakers Angus Macqueen and Guillermo Galdos, who sat down with her on their quest to find and interview Guzmán prior to his 2014 arrest by Mexican authorities. “I remember he had a lot of paper money — little notes of 50’s and 5’s,” she recalled to them. “He’d count and recount them, then tie them up in little piles. He’d say, ‘Mama, save them for me.’ It was just colored paper, but they looked real. He piled them up carefully … Ever since he was little, he always had hopes.” In Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty, the two filmmakers explore Guzmán’s brutal and bloody empire. From the streets of Chicago to the “Golden Triangle” in Mexico, home to the Sinaloa cartel’s heroin and marijuana production, the film traces what happened the first time Guzmán escaped from prison in 2001, and features rare access to the U.S. officials that sought to catch him, members of his cartel, and even this exclusive on-camera interview with his mother. Source:...