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Watch out for those Santa Ana winds

Health authorities from Baja are recommending staying at home when Santa Ana winds are active. Problems in the respiratory tract, eyes and skin have been reported during the winds, and thus they are recommending staying home with doors and windows closed.

Dr. David Perez, chief of medical services, stated that these winds affect the health because they carry a lot of dirt with them because of the severe dryness. He also recommended to stay away from street food during this condition, as it can get easily contaminated by pathogens in the wind and can induce gastric diseases.

Perez emphasized the importance of drinking enough water and making sure house pets have enough clean water, which should be changed more often to avoid having them drink contaminated liquids.

Do we really need more signs?

At least in Ensenada, authorities and business leaders think so. The third ENSENADA “letters” sign was officially inaugurated in the cruise ships terminal, focused on more national motifs than regional, since it’s almost exclusively going to be seen by cruisers. The sign features the agave plant, charros and the Aztec calendar.

The first one was installed in Playa Hermosa, featuring local animals; the second one, featuring a cruise ship and the cranes in the port, was placed in the “Ventana al Mar” Malecon.

Each of these signs is costing around $7,500 USD and the original project planned for 8, some in the city, one in San Quintin and other ones in the Guadalupe Valley.

The money is coming from a trust managed by local business people, called FIDEM, funded by the state government, through giving back 5% of all payroll taxes that businesses paid during the year.

There is one more sign at the entrance of Ensenada, but that one was placed in there by our tourism officials with federal funds, as they have done in most tourist cities in Mexico.

Dealing With An Emergency Here If You Don’t Speak Spanish

Expat911 is a smart phone app that was designed by expats for expats.  It is a service that covers you for all types of emergencies when at home, on the road or out for a night on the town.  It utilizes GPS location services which allow the operators to target your exact location.  Many of us may have the capability to say our home address to Mexico’s Spanish speaking 911 operators, but what happens when we are in an unfamiliar area?  How can you explain where you are when you have no idea what the names of the streets are in the area during your emergency?  Also, how will you explain in detail about the type of emergency you are having?

Expat911 is an app that works on Android and iPhone devices.  Within the app you have a profile with information that will speed up the process when reporting an emergency.  You have a basic medical profile which has your blood type, allergies and sicknesses.  There is also a contact area where users can add 1 US/Canada contact and 2 Mexico contacts.  Expat911 will notify these contacts after your emergency has been reported to Mexico’s 911 on your behalf.  This way your family back home will know about your situation and so will the people that you trust here in Mexico.  The Mexico contacts can be neighbors or local doctors that speak English.  Many times our neighbors can come to our aid while we are awaiting the emergency services to arrive.  The Mexico contacts can also be used for our insurance agents or medical air evacuation plans that we may have in place.

So how does Expat911 work during an emergency?  You only have to click on one of the 3 emergency buttons.  There is a button for Police, Ambulance and Fire.  Within seconds an English speaking operator will call your phone and verify the emergency.  If you do not pick up, then they will assume that this is a serious emergency and report to Mexico’s 911 on your behalf.  If you answer, they will verify some quick details about your emergency and then call Mexico’s 911 to report the emergency.  Once the emergency has been reported, they will then confirm this with the user.  At this time they will stay on the phone with you if you request them to, or they will start calling your emergency contacts.  So it is very simple to use during an emergency and all you have to do is click a button.  They will take care of the rest.  They also record all calls so that there is a record of the emergency being reported to Mexico’s 911 and the call with the user as well.

Expat911 does have a cost to use their service.  It is important to understand that this is a 3rd party service who worked directly with Mexico’s C4 and C5 offices around the country.  C4 and C5 are the agencies that handle all 911 calls in Mexico.  Expat911 has a direct line of communication with all local C4 and C5 offices nationwide.  It is also important to realize the value of this service.  An alarm in our home has a cost of 1,000’s of pesos to install.  Then we pay an average of 250 pesos per month to have the service in case our alarm goes off.  So the yearly fee of an alarm in Mexico is 3,000 pesos on average.  This alarm system will only cover your home and you while you are at home.  There is no translation services included with your alarm company and you are only covered for police emergencies.  This is why we see the huge value in Expat911 which has a cost of $ 99.00 per year.  That cost is under 2,000 pesos per year and will cover you everywhere within Mexico.  Plus Expat911 has the added benefits of being 100% English spoken and contacting your friends and loved ones during your emergency.

Expat911 has recently implemented a couples plan.  The first user pays the full amount upon registration.  They will then contact Expat911 to ask for a coupon code which will be used on their spouse or family members.  The user will be provided with a 50% off coupon code for any other family members that wish to use the service.  So it is not just limited to your spouse and can also be used for you children, brothers and sisters who may also be living here in Mexico with you.  All additional accounts have a fee of $ 49.50 which is 50% of the original rate.

Expat911 is already serving a large number of expats in Mexico.  They have active users in 11 states and are growing daily.  It is a great service for those of us who have not been able to develop a strong command of the Spanish language.  It is also great for those of us who do speak Spanish well enough, but might worry about the stress during an emergency hampering our ability to speak another language.  It is also a great aid when we are traveling to an area that is unfamiliar to us.

If you are interested in using this service, we highly recommend reaching out to the company.  You can visit their website here:  https://www.expat911.mx/ref/baja/  If you have any questions about the registration process or require assistance, then you can email them directly at info@expat911.mx.  You can also request a call from them by sending an email and setting up a time to speak with a representative.

Rosarito Starts Implementing “Panic Buttons”

Rosarito’ s Mayor Mirna Rincon, started the implementation of “Panic Buttons” in different points of the city, specifically where neighbor committees meet.

Rincon stated that this is being done in an effort to inhibit criminal activity in the area.

This device will connect directly to the C-4 and the public security office as soon as the button is pressed.

Neighbors will have this tool available, that uses wireless internet to communicate directly with the C-4 public security center and the local public security office.

“Rosarito Beach is the first municipality in the state that has this technology available, the equipment also has an antenna built-in that allows the community to connect to it through Wi-Fi in order to use WhatsApp to alert neighbors of suspicious or criminal activity”, said Rincon.

Adrian Hernandez, head of Rosarito’ s Public Security office, said that in its first phase, they will install 10 devices, the first of which was installed in the Marbella area.

“Through this device we will reinforce the Proximity Police program, which is looking to improve closeness between police and community, reinforcing trust through an immediate response from the police in the case of any contingency”, stated Hernandez.

Don’t Forget to Turn Back The Clock

Daylight savings time ends this Sunday, November 4 at 2:00AM, so don’t forget to turn back the clock one hour before going to bed on Saturday. You won’t want to miss an hour of your favorite Baja brunch buffet!

Northern Baja sets back the clock the same day as Southern California because of the huge commercial relations between the two areas. Almost every other city in the country already did it this past weekend (except for a few border towns).

Baja California was the only state in Mexico to observe the daylight savings adjustment for many decades, until 1996 when the rest of the country decided to join the party.

A new bill proposal in California’s Congress would give voters a chance to end daylight savings for good. If that goes through Baja would have to follow suit just as Sonora has done with Arizona since 1998.

National Survey for The Mexico City Airport Starts Today

From today and until October 28th, polls will be open in order for Mexican people to decide the faith of the deeply controversial new Mexico City airport.

There are just two options to vote from, one is to continue construction of the new airport in Texcoco and the other option would be to expand the current airport, the Toluca airport and build two more air strips in the military air base in Santa Lucia.

The construction is already ongoing or the Texcoco airport.
Construction is already ongoing on the Texcoco airport.

The poll is organized by Lopez Obrador or AMLO as he is better known, although he hasn’t stepped into office yet (he will do that on December 1st) he said he wanted to gain some time and ask people how they feel regarding the airport.

AMLO has been against the new airport from the start because, he says, it was just a monument to corruption since on the first phase the project was already over budget by over 5.5 billion USD. The total cost is said to be 15.5 billion USD.

The new airport was beautifully designed by Norman Foster, an internationally acclaimed architectural design group.

In Baja, several polls are installed in every municipality although the one in Rosarito was almost cancelled because the organizers were robbed of all the material from their truck a couple days ago.

Enrique Chiu Announced As Finalist In Global Arts Awards Dubai

Enrique Chiu, the Tijuana artist we featured on our last issue, has been named finalist in the second Global Art Awards recognizing excellence and innovation in art and design, and will be going forward to the grand final of the prestigious awards taking place at the FIVE Jumeirah Palm, Dubai, on November 21, 2018.

Enrique Chiu, whose work “Carnaval”in the painting category has been singled out for praise by the judges will be heading for Dubai in November in the hope of winning the award in its category.

He will also have the chance to be named The Best Global Artist of 2018, which is awarded to one outstanding overall winner, who will also win an exhibition in Abu Dhabi as well as the life-long title.

Dubbed “The Oscars for the Visual Arts”, The Global Art Awards celebrate the exceptional achievements of artists from across the globe. There are 16 visual arts categories, ranging from photography, street art, illustration and painting to awards recognizing individual artists, including Best Newcomer; Best Sculpture Artist Award; Best Innovative Artist Award as well as the highly illustrious Best Emirati Artist Award.

Regarding reaching the finals of the Global Art Awards, Enrique Chiu said: “I am very excited to be a finalist with my artwork Carnaval. This is an international art prize, very important for the artistic society of the world. I am the only Mexican in my category and I will proudly represent my country, my city and in honor of our brothers in our borders.”

“It’s a great honour to be named a finalist in the Global Art Awards and I am delighted to be able to join such a fantastic, roll-call of artistic talent heading for the awards in Dubai. These awards really do single out the best, most exciting artists working today, to celebrate their achievements, and I am honored to be among them.”

Joëlle Dinnage, Founder and Director of the Global Art Awards said, “We created the awards a year ago to establish an inspirational international art competition on a global scale. Artists who were successful last time have gone on to gain recognition and commissions, travel and attend exhibitions and receive a real boost to their careers.

“This year, standards have been exceptionally high and the competition has been fierce across all categories. Congratulations to all the finalists. We look forward to seeing them in Dubai.”

The awards ceremony takes place on the evening of Thursday 21st November 2018 at the 16th floor Penthouse FIVE Jumeirah Palm against the backdrop of the astonishing Dubai skyline.

If you have an extra $525 USD and you want to attend the event, you can get tickets here. Better have a couple thousand for the flight to the Emirates too or it’s going to be a long swim there.

More information about the awards is on http://www.theglobalartawards.com. Facebook: @theglobalartawards Instagram: @theglobalartawards Twitter: @globalartawards

Full details about the artist and their work are available here: http://www.enriquechiu.mx Facebook: @enriquechiu.arte Instagram: @enriquechiuarte Twitter: @enriquechiu

VIDEO: Helicopter Crashes Into San Felipe Sea

A helicopter from the Mexican Marine crashed into the San Felipe sea this last Saturday at 3:40 PM during a surveillance operation that was focused on finding illegal fishermen, in an effort to protect the few vaquitas left.

The SEMAR (or Mexican Marine) informed that there were 12 people on board of the helicopter, 9 of them are not harmed, 2 were transferred to local hospitals in San Felipe with wounds, one more is critically wounded and another one hasn’t been found.

In a strange turn of events, the marines were promptly rescued by the same illegal local fishermen that they were chasing.

This is the third helicopter that has crashed in Baja since last year, after two police helicopters also crashed last year on land in different events.

Video here:

https://www.bajanorte.com/en/surfing/

Surf Tournament Coming Up In Ensenada

Playa Hermosa Surf & Sk8 Club is adjusting the final details of the 5th “Day Of The Dead” tournament, which this year is a tribute to Cristian “Cri Cri” Contreras.

The surf competition will be this October 27 and 28, Saturday and Sunday. You can register now at Playa Hermosa Surf and Skate Shop in Pedro Loyola St.

Cost per competitor is just $150 pesos (about 8 bucks) until October 25, after this day the cost will go up to $200 pesos (about 11 USD), registration includes an official shirt of the event.

The categories open this year are female beginners, male beginners, female open, male open, body board open, long board open (mixed), paddle board open (mixed) and Minihoonies (12 years or less).

Each day the tournament start at 7 AM just across the stairs in Playa Hermosa, awards are being given after the competition finishes on Sunday on the same place.

With information from Gabriel Garcia | El Vigia.

Van Of U.S. Murder Suspect Found In Baja

There was a break in the Colusa County murder case of Karen Garcia when investigators found the van her suspected killer/boyfriend escaped in, right here in Baja.

Unfortunately, the van was being driven by someone else, who said that had bought the van a while ago possibly from the suspect, Salvador Vaca Garcia Jr.

Colusa Police Chief Joshua Fitch said that the back is already back in Colusa County after being towed back to Northern California on Friday.

“It was on the Mexican side of the border…is my understanding somewhere near Tijuana,” Fitch said. “It was a small town near Tijuana.”

By his statement it can be deducted that the van was found either in Tecate or Rosarito, although Garcia is thought to have fled Baja already.

If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Salvador Vaca Garcia Jr or want to report any sightings call US 1-877-926-8332.

You can also join the JusticeForKaren Facebook page for more information regarding her case by clicking here.

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