First Fiestas de Octubre
American Legion Post Three named Barbara Bertram as their candidate for the U.S. float to participate in the first Fiestas de Octubre parade. A number of U.S. expat organizations in Jalisco are expected to send representatives to a community council meeting at the Consulate to present their princesses for the float, said Fred Mardus, chairman of the float committee. The Jalisco Department of Tourism is currently preparing a heady program of some 50 classes of events and the city is carefully tending its one million rose bushes so that they will be in full flower during the festival. Special events include a fiesta taurina with the best matadors in the world, international soccer games, a national charreada, water skiing events on Lake Cajititlan and motor boat races on Lake Chapala.
New police cars
The municipality of Guadalajara has announced the acquisition of six police patrol cars, bringing its fleet to 15. To really do a job, the city says it should have another eight or a total of 22. This certainly seems reasonable for a city of over one million souls. If we had known we were being patrolled by only nine cars until this week, we would have been nervous, indeed.
Greatest show ever
That was how the Guadalajara’s best orchestra and band leader Aurturo Javier Gonzalez described the upcoming Festival of Sueños, a benefit for the Salvation Army’s new Evangelina orphanage. Some 50 of Mexico’s TV, Radio and recording artists, including the famed Chabela Vargas, will entertain the guests at the gala affair to be held at the Hilton Hotel ballroom. Salvation Army Auxiliary members said this will be a fitting farewell to Mrs. Royal Hickman as she relinquishes the presidency to Mrs. Ruth Taube.
Pigs do Chapala dirty
Pig excrement is the principal contaminant of Lake Chapala, reports Rafael Lagos Martinez, director of the Lerma Technical Assistance Plan. He said 350,000 pigs in the pork-producing region of La Piedad, Michoacan are responsible for the 170,000 tons of excrement dumped daily into the Lerma River and carried to Lake Chapala.
Chapala highway urged
The powerful voice of the Federation of Jalisco Chambers of Commerce was added last week to the chorus calling for a modern highway between Guadalajara and Chapala. The project has been in the works for some time but repeatedly postponed because of financing obstacles.
Electric rates jump 10%
Consumers will be charged 10 percent more for electricity each month under new rates established last week by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE). Mexican industries and small businesses are facing 30 percent increases in their bills.
Oil found off Campeche
Mexico struck oil this week in the Gulf of Campeche and is moving speedily to exploit the find located some 70 miles north of Ciudad del Carmen. Pemex director Antonio Dovali Jaime ruled out a gasoline hike for the moment but said, “We can’t predict how long the existing prices can be maintained.”
Amsoc plans capital tour
The American Society (Amsoc) will kick off its 1975-76 travel tour season with a nine-day Mexico City/Grito trip. It is the first of 11 tours planned for the year. Suites overlooking the Zocalo have been rented for the evening of the grito, September 15. A lunch stop at El Cortijo after a tour of the pyramids will allow guests to try their skills with the cape at its bullring.
Ex-police chief extradited
“A Judicial Victory” was the outstanding domestic media headline this week as Mexico City’s ex-police chief, Arturo Durazo Moreno, a curb side symbol of corruption of former President Jose Lopez Portillo’s now much-criticized administration, was ordered to be extradited to the Republic by a U.S. Federal Court. The BBC reported that the deportation order was part of a deal worked out by the Mexican and U.S. attorneys general, Sergio Garcia Ramirez and Edwin Meese, that included a stepped-up war against drug traffickers. That deal included a subsequent 10,000-troop Pacific coast anti-opium sweep that turned up a reported 72 billion pesos’ worth of cocaine in Tijuana.
Water meters nixed
The installation of water meters in Guadalajara has been suspended, not only because the Monterrey-based Mexican company manufacturing them has gone out of business, but because the city’s water pipes can’t withstand the pressure needed to operate the meters, an official of the Inter municipal System of Potable Water and Sewage (Siapa) said last week. Siapa intended to place 25,000 meters in service this year. To date less than 5,000 have been installed.
Jazz master to play
Gerry Mulligan, who “would have few contemporary rivals of the title of Renaissance Man of Jazz,” according to the Washington Post, and helped form the “cool” West Coast Sound that changed the course of jazz in the 1950s, will bring his quartet to Guadalajara’s Degollado Theater August 29.
Drivers fail license test
New regulations making everyone renewing Mexican driving licenses take a written test on traffic law has left hundreds of Tapatios fuming. Although the test is considered simple and an examination of common sense as much as law, 80 percent of applicants have so far failed it. Copies of Jalisco Transit Law have sold out in many stores as drivers study to retake the test.
3m garbage plant fraud
After months of talks, disputes and threats, the city of Zapopan moved to cancel its waste-disposal contract with Corporacion de Ingenieria Arrow amid charges of a 3.3-million dollar fraud allegedly perpetrated by U.S. businessman Richard Emery Wells. The Mexican company said that after paying the money Wells did not deliver a single piece of equipment to operate the garbage-recycling plant and they now know the Tulsa, Oklahoma corporation he allegedly headed does not exist.
Churches now tax deductible
Until three years ago, churches in Mexico had no legal standing and existed at the sufferance of the civil authorities. That changed with the passage of the 1992 Law of Religious Associations and Public Worship. Individuals may now make charitable donations to churches and deduct them from their taxable income, provided they obtain an official receipt in return. Corporate donations are not tax-deductable. As non-profit organizations churches do not have to pay income tax but must keep a record of income and expenditures.
Anti-lirio chemicals nixed
The Jalisco state government has prohibited the use of chemicals and chopping machines to rid Lake Chapala of lirio (water hyacinth), according to the head of the five-state commission charged with monitoring the restoration of the lake’s health. Last year a heated battle broke out between environmentalists and government officials who began applying Gilfosato, a pesticide, to attack the lirio. With elections drawing near, the government backed down and ended the use of the chemical.
Legion little league champs
American Legion Post three is the sponsor of the eight to 12-year old national little league champs. The team is composed of all-stars from the American Legion Zapopan Baseball Little League. These champs of Mexico are advancing to the World Championship playoffs in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Post Commander Jack Holmes is assisting the U.S. Consulate in obtaining visas and documents for the kids and their families to travel. The post began sponsoring Little League Baseball in 1973.
Independent presidential bid derailed
Mexico’s Supreme Court effectively quashed Jorge Castañeda’s independent bid for the presidency, upholding a ruling on Monday that said the maverick former foreign secretary and author could not enter the 2006 race without affiliating himself with a registered political party.
Unregistered B&Bs risky biz
San Miguel de Allende municipal officials have filed complaints regarding 110 unregistered bed-and-breakfasts and vacation rental homes. State and federal authorities will determine if the owners have failed to pay income and sales taxes and social security contributions and, in the case of foreigners, have a visa allowing them to operate a business. By searching online ads for San Miguel, the city is continuing to investigate another 400 owners who haven’t registered. Based on the rentals charged, some of owners – 75 percent of them foreigners – could owe several thousand dollars and face stiff fines as well as deportation.