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WOVEN Board of Directors Debbie Cameron Betty Predmore Stacie Chandler and Sara Hilfiker

The Women of Virtue Empowerment Network (WOVEN) held an Open House last Thursday at their center at 235 Main Street in Brawley.  Guests were treated to a delicious buffet courtesy of Lori Young, Debbie Cameron, and Leslie Mamer.  After touring the WOVEN Center, guests were able to get a first look at the new Boutique at WOVEN.  Boutique organizers Judy Tagg and Brenda Scaroni were on hand to show off the Boutique and explain its purpose.  The Boutique was created for the purpose of providing free professional clothing to women in need.  Individuals have been donating their gently worn business clothing to the cause.  This clothing will be available to women seeking outfits for job interviews, court dates, etc.  This is just another way that WOVEN is reaching out to help the women of the Imperial Valley.  To find out more about the services available at WOVEN, visit the website at or call (760) 344-0411.

Brenda Scaroni and Judy Tagg talk to some visitors about The Boutique at WOVEN


Some of the items available at the new boutique

By Luke Phillips
This past weekend as Holtville held it’s biggest celebration of the year, the annual Carrot Festival, it also lost one of it’s greatest champions.
Those who knew former Holtville Tribune editor Quentin Burke, who died Sunday, say he will be remembered for his dedication to the city that he loved and the residents that he called friends, colleagues and family.
One of Burke’s best friends, Holtville City Treasurer Pete Mellinger, called him one of the city’s biggest supporters.
“He was always trying to do things for the community,” Mellinger said. “It’s hard to lose such a good friend.”
Mellinger says he met Burke in 1964, shortly after he came to Holtville to take over as the new editor of the Holtville Tribune, a position he would retain for nearly 30 years. Burke and Mellinger became friends after serving together on the Holtville Planning Commission and remained close friends until Burke’s death Sunday.
“We found out that we were mutually interested in a lot of things going on around the valley so we became very good friends,” Mellinger said.
According to Mellinger he and Burke shared a common interest in many topics including the local agricultural industry.
“He was interested in crops we grew here and how we grew them,” Mellinger said. “He was fascinated by the major changes happening in the harvesting of our vegetable crops here when things  where changing from hand harvesting to machine harvesting.”
Mellinger says Burke was interested in water issues in the valley from the very beginning and would take frequent trips to the desert, Imperial Dam and Yuma to see some of the infrastructure for himself.
“It was a hot topic,” Mellinger said. “We went through a period when water was becoming so valuable that all of the cities in the valley were after it. The L.A. water district was after our water and so was San Diego.”
Mellinger says Burke followed water issues until he died and would take trips to see the newly constructed reservoir built at the site of the old Brock Research Station on Interstate 8.
Burke also had an interest in the author Harold Belll Wright and his book The Winning of Barbara Worth which took place in a fictionalized version of the Imperial Valley and had much to do with the early struggles over water rights.
Mellinger says that Burke was one of the main people that helped set up the Harold Bell Wright Gallery at the Pioneers Museum and was also instrumental in obtaining an original manuscript of ‘The Winning of Barbara Worth’ that’s on display at the museum.
Burke was also an avid photographer and documented Holtville throughout the years by taking hundreds, if not thousands,  of photos of the city and its residents.
“He was always taking pictures,” Mellinger said. “He’d take pictures of anything he see and everything he saw.”
Burke also organized a photography group that would take trips to the Rocky Mountain states once a year to photograph the wilderness.
“He was very active in pursuing his interest in photography,” Mellinger said.
Besides collecting photos, Mellinger says that Burke had also been amassing research on Holtville for a book that he planned to write on the town’s history. Unfortunately, Mellinger says that Burke was never able to begin work on the book.
“When he retired he had time to do some of the things that he wanted to do his whole life, but he was so active right up until the end that he didn’t have time to achieve much of what he wanted to do.”
Among other things Burke was also very active in The Friends of The Holtville Library, the Episcopal Church and the Holtville Unified School District’s Foreign Exchange program. He was also a member of the board that first put in place Holtville’s utility tax which Mellinger says has allowed the city to flourish.
“He was an active member when we passed the utility tax and he was still active on the committee to retain it here last year.”

By Luke Phillips
For the past few months the subject of animal control has become a hot topic around Holtville. The city has an obvious problem with lose dogs roaming the city and feral cats multiplying at dizzying rates.
So after much talk city officials have decided to have one of their Public Works employees trained as an Animal Control Officer and put on half-time animal control duties. The city says they can’t afford a full-time animal control officer so I suppose this is a good compromise, but the city needs to hurry up and put their plan into action.
You may not realize it, but just last month a young child was attacked and injured by a loose dog right here in Holtville. My friend and local Holtville resident Kenny Riggs told me about how his son Brian was recently attacked by a black Labrador while trying to do a good deed.
The Riggs family had been asked by a neighbor to keep an eye out for their missing Pug that had escaped from the yard. They spotted the missing pooch while driving down fourth street one day and Brian jumped out of the truck to retrieve the dog. That’s when the Lab came out of no where and bit Brian in the lower back.
“It just went after him,” Riggs said.
Brian spent the next 8 ½ hours waiting for treatment at the hospital and Riggs says the wound had scabbed over by the time they got to see a doctor and had to be painfully scrubbed to prevent infection. He says the bite left a full upper jaw print on Brian’s back.
Riggs says he doesn’t blame the owner of the dog and said they felt really bad about the incident. Instead, Riggs says he blames the city’s lack of an Animal Control Officer and unwillingness to ticket the owner’s of animals that let their dogs run loose.
“The city needs an animal control officer,” Riggs said. “You can talk to just about anybody in town and they’re going to agree with that.”
Riggs also says that the city should be more aggressive about enforcing animal control ordinances.
“When you find out who the owners are you got to get after them,” he said.
The incident is the perfect example of why the city needs to put the training of an Animal Control Officer on the fast track. I recently asked Holtville City Manager Alex Meyerhoff where the city was at on the project, which was approved more than two weeks ago, and he told me that they are currently researching three different options for training. Alex also couldn’t tell me how long it might take before our new Animal Control Officer might be on duty. I sure hope it’s soon. Brian managed to escape with relatively minor injuries, but it’s just a matter of time before something much more tragic happens if the city doesn’t address this problem soon.

Borrowers Being Asked to Wait 60 to 90 Days Before Submitting a Refinance Application


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today called on Bank of America to end the delays that borrowers have encountered in attempting to refinance their mortgages. According to a new report in Bloomberg News, some homeowners are being asked to wait between 60 and 90 days to submit a refinance application.


Senator Boxer, along with Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), pushed for changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to reduce the barriers that have kept millions of responsible homeowners from refinancing and taking advantage of today’s record low interest rates. Delays from Bank of America in processing increased refinance demands undermine the very purpose of the program.


In her letter, Senator Boxer wrote, “It is critical that Bank of America take the steps necessary to meet the increased demand for refinancing caused by changes in the HARP program so that responsible homeowners will not have to wait to refinance.”


The full text of the letter is below:


February 9, 2012


Mr. Brian T. Moynihan
Bank of America Corporate Center

100 N. Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28255


Dear Mr. Moynihan:


I am deeply concerned about a report from Bloomberg News that Bank of America is failing to meet the increased demand for home refinances and is asking borrowers to wait between 60-90 days before submitting a home refinance application. These delays could prevent borrowers from taking advantage of today’s historically low interest rates and improvements recently made to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).


As you may know, I fought for improvements in the HARP program, such as the elimination of risk-based fees on Fannie and Freddie-loans and the removal of refinance limits on underwater properties.  Making it easier for responsible homeowners to refinance at today’s low rates will help keep families in their homes and boost the economy by putting more money in the pockets of borrowers. Unfortunately, the Bloomberg News report suggests that Bank of America has been unable to manage the increased demand for refinancing, which undermines the purpose of the HARP program.   


According to Bloomberg News, other lenders including JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Citibank have not taken steps to discourage borrowers from refinancing.  In fact, JP Morgan has increased capacity in order to process their increased volume of applications.


It is critical that Bank of America take the steps necessary to meet the increased demand for refinancing caused by changes in the HARP program so that responsible homeowners will not have to wait to refinance. 




Barbara Boxer

United States Senator

LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced an historic commitment to California of up to $18 billion that will benefit hundreds of thousands of homeowners in the state hardest hit by the mortgage crisis.

“California families will finally see substantial relief after experiencing so much pain from the mortgage crisis,” said Attorney General Harris. “Hundreds of thousands of homeowners will directly benefit from this California commitment.”

“This outcome is the result of an insistence that California receive a fair deal commensurate with the harm done here. We insisted on homeowner relief for Californians and demanded enforceability so homeowners actually see a benefit that will allow them to stay in their homes, and preserved our ability to investigate banker crime and predatory lending,” continued Harris.

California secured the $18 billion agreement as part of a national multistate settlement to penalize robo-signing and other bank servicing and foreclosure misconduct. The agreement comes after California departed from the multistate negotiations last September when the estimated relief to California was $4 billion. Attorney General Harris insisted on more relief for the most distressed homeowners, meaningful enforcement, and the ability of California and other states to pursue investigations into misconduct.

California’s participation in the settlement also increased the amount of relief other states will receive by approximately $6 billion.

Attorney General Harris also obtained separate, enforceable guarantees to ensure that banks will be accountable for their commitments to California. As part of the separate California guarantee, banks must enact a minimum of $12 billion in principal reductions for California homeowners. Failure to achieve this minimum level of reductions will result in substantial cash payments of up to $800 million that the banks will have to pay to the state. Unlike the larger multistate agreement, which is enforceable in a federal court in Washington, D.C., this payment provision empowers the Attorney General to summon the banks to California state court.

California’s separate guarantee also creates important incentives to ensure that banks will reduce the principal mortgage balance of underwater homeowners in California’s hardest-hit counties and that the principal reductions in these communities will occur within the first year of the settlement.

To speed investigations and strengthen prosecutions of these mortgage cases, California will expand its Mortgage Fraud Strike Force, adding to the more than 42 members already working on the team. The state will continue its investigative alliance with Nevada, that allows the sharing of resources, information and strategies, and will look to collaborate with additional states focused on a law enforcement response to the wave of mortgage fraud.

The national multistate agreement and California commitment will provide substantial relief for thousands of Californians whose mortgages are owned by the five banks in the settlement, but thousands more will still need help as they struggle to stay in their homes.

“I will continue to fight for principal reductions for the approximately 60 percent of California homeowners whose loans are owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” Attorney General Harris added.

Attorney General Harris will propose a comprehensive legislative agenda to protect homeowners in the mortgage market. This legislation will build on the three-year reforms agreed to as part of the California commitment, including a single point of contact for mortgage-holders and an end to the unfair and confusing system of dual-track foreclosures.

“This is an historic amount of relief for California homeowners, but it is one piece of a broader focus. We will continue our crackdown on mortgage fraud and quickly move to pass legislation that will simplify, reform and upgrade our broken mortgage system,” Harris added.

The financial benefits of this historic agreement extend to homeowners whose loans are owned or serviced by one of the five largest mortgage lenders. Benefits include:
– More than $12 billion is guaranteed to reduce the principal on loans or offer short sales to approximately 250,000 California homeowners who are underwater on their loans and behind or almost behind in their payments.
– $849 million is estimated to be dedicated to refinancing the loans of 28,000 homeowners who are current on their payments but underwater on their loans.
– $279 million will be dedicated to offering restitution to approximately 140,000 California homeowners who were foreclosed upon between 2008 and December 31, 2011.
– $1.1 billion is estimated to be distributed to homeowners for unemployed payment forbearance and transition assistance as well as to communities to repair the blight and devastation left by waves of foreclosures, targeted at 16,000 recent foreclosures.
– $3.5 billion will be dedicated to relieving 32,000 homeowners of unpaid balances remaining when their homes are foreclosed.
– $430 million in costs, fees and penalty payments.

County-specific payments are based on the number of homeowners and the depth of the foreclosure crisis. It is estimated that homeowners in the following counties will accrue the following level of benefits over the three-year life of the commitment.
– Los Angeles: $3.92 billion
– Riverside: $1.59 billion
– San Bernardino: $1.13 billion
– Sacramento: $820 million
– Stanislaus County: $368 million

Additional details on the settlement, including how homeowners can apply for relief, can be found at

Luke Phillips
A representative from the American Red Cross spoke to the Holtville City Council at their meeting Monday to seek their cooperation with a new program that would help make the city a safer place to live.
Elizabeth Enriquez-Phillips told the council that she would like to train volunteering city employees or other local civics groups to serve as emergency shelter workers in case of a large scale disaster.
“In case there is a large disaster we just want to make sure that each individual city would be okay,” Enriquez-Phillips told the council.
Enriquez says the training course would last approximately 3 to 3 and a half hours and at the end volunteers would receive a badge designating them a shelter worker and featuring their photo, the American Red Cross logo and their organization’s logo. Volunteers would be trained in one or more of the many different jobs that need to be staffed in an emergency situation. Enriquez-Phillips says that large emergency shelters quickly become “like small cities” and require extensive personnel to keep running, everything from food service workers to supply workers who dispense things like diapers and bedding to security guards to protect the people and keep the peace. She cited the Astrodome in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit as an example of how things can quickly get out hof hand.
“We want to keep a safe environment for the folks,” she said.
Enriquez-Phillips says that groups interested in receiving the training should sign up by early next month because the Red Cross will be hosting a ‘simulated exercise’ at the First United Methodist Church in El Centro on February 25 and she’d like any potential volunteers to take part.
“It’s going to be great hands-on experience and I’d love to get the city involved,” she said.
Besides city employees, Enriquez-Phillips says other community groups such as clubs and civic organizations and even church groups, if they’re large enough, can also sign-up. Any organizations interested in participating should contact Elizabeth Enriquez-Phillips with the American Red Cross at (760) 352-4541 or email

Luke Phillips
City Manager Alex Meyerhoff told the council that a number of different water heating systems had been researched for use at the Gene Layton Memorial Swimming Pool’s shower area and the Hut and that city staff was recommending the purchase of a conventional water heater unit for the showers and an under-the-counter style unit for the hut. However, City Council member Jerry Brittsan said he would like to see staff research the use of a ‘tankless’ style water heater for the shower area.
“That way you’re not heating a bunch of water when there’s no one around to use it,” Brittsan said. “You only use it when the water’s on.”
The council tabled the item until their next meeting in order to research alternatives to the conventional water heater.

– During an agenda item to approve a small sidewalk improvement on 5th Street, council member Brittsan questioned the need to have four engineers contracted for such a simple project.
City engineer Jack Holt explained to Brittsan that although the project may seem simple, there’s actually much more to it. Holt says that engineer time will be needed to acquire right-of-ways, including negotiating the purchase of the property, and to keep the project in line with it’s tight time schedule.
“That area’s always been a troubled area when it comes to surveying,” Holt said.
The project was unanimously approved by the council and should be completed by April.

– Meyerhoff told the council in his weekly report that a Real Estate seminar held at City Hall over the weekend had gone well with 20 interested residents attending. The aim of the project was to educate the public on opportunities of home ownership and promote local real estate. Meyerhoff says the seminar was attended by several Realtors, representatives from Sun Community Federal Credit Union and the owner of a housing development at 9th Steet and Towland Rd. Although the development has been languishing for years, Meyerhoff said that there is a real passivity of it getting off the ground some time this year.

By Luke Phillips
Long-time Holtville educator and coach Marv Wood has been chosen by the Holtville Chamber of Commerce to serve as this year’s Carrot Parade Grand Marshall.
Wood is a 1958 graduate of Holtville High School and began teaching at the school in 1989 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Cal Poly University in Pomona in 1962 and spending several years coaching and teaching at various California Schools.
Upon his return to Holtville he taught science and physical education and coached football and baseball at Holtville High School. He assisted with the 1989, ’90, ’91 and ’92 CIF Championship football teams and went on to coach 1991, ’93 and ’95 CIF Championship baseball teams.
Wood also served as Athletic Director and Iterim Vice Principal at the school until he retired in 1998. Wood then went on to serve two terms on the Holtville Unified School District’s Board of Trustees and served five years as it’s president.
Wood also introduced and developed an annual Vikings Baseball Academy for the valley’s youth and founded the Holtville High School Green and Gold Hall of Fame, of which he is also a member. Wood has also been honored in the Imperial Valley Football Coaches & Players Hall of Fame and the San Diego Hall of Champions where he was recognized as a High School Coaching Legend last year.

Valentine day, day’s love it means, whenever you share your love, affection and feeling to someone. Today, it is not restricted to romantic couples, you may wish to your parents, friends, siblings and close ones. Gift exchanges are common tradition for this day. Mostly guys and females are having big confusion to settle on valentine gifts. Thus this is our responsibility that, we need to suggest you of your Valentines gifts.

Gifts for guys:

Men influence how we live in a great way of any type like it be our father, spouse, boyfriend and little others. They’ve already their special space within our lives. So they are deserved a lot more than words, so this time after we share our unspoken feelings with Special Valentine Gifts. Mostly Women are confused when deciding on Valentine gifts for men. Because she always anticipate to good complements from receiver’s side. Many people think that men are not more like to getting gifts, that’s totally wrong simply because love to get gifts like women. So take the time to thought about valentine gift that can make your day more loveable.

Love is unconditional it could possibly with your father, brother, spouse, boyfriend and infant. Gift items are varying according relation. For anyone who is presenting gifts for father and brother it Books, mobiles, dresses, pen and timepieces will be good gifts for the kids.

Gifts for boyfriend/spouse: Actual meaning Valentine’s Day is an occasion that specifically for your love. So expressive and passionate valentine gifts are allow it to be more romantic on your boyfriend and spouse. Your lovely valentine gifts can be like flowers, chocolate gift boxes, valets, Gourmet gift baskets, greeting cards, wrist watches there are several gifts which create awesome impression of them. Remember always put an appreciation letters with gift item. Love letter show your feeling and care to him.

Gift for my child: Like Women Every Men desires to celebrate their Valentine day regarding his beloved in special manner. They want make happier their girlfriend/wife. By exchanging valentine Gifts they express their love and care towards the other person. So we have some unique ideas about Valentine gift on your girls.

Chocolate and flowers: Chocolate gift boxes and flowers make happier your ex girlfriend. Chocolates and flower bunch evergreen valentine gift item. This never becomes old. You may present chocolates according their taste it could be dark chocolate, white chocolate and flavoured chocolates.

Purse and clutches: Purse has unique set up gift item category. You are able to present heart shape colourful, decorative fancy purse or clutch. Purse or clutches will be the perfect Valentine gifts item for ones lover.

Jewellery: We all know that mostly girl likes jewellery you’ll be able to gift attractive jewellery items. Your valentine gift jewellery might be ear rings, ring, bracelet and anklets jewellery set.

Cosmetics: Every girl likes to wear makeup so comprise kit is extraordinary gift item on her. You can gift cosmetic box including most required make up item likes lipsticks, nail polish, perfumes etc. I hope it would be great valentine gift to be with her. So enjoy your valentine using your love, we pray to God that make you and your love happy and long live.

For more information about Valentine gifts visit our website.

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