Que Pasa in Baja?

November 2, 2015 Edition
BY: OLIVER QUINTERO

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New fountain for Ensenada. Ensenada is finishing up the bidding process for the proposed dancing waters fountain that will be located on the “Ventana al Mar”, (window to the sea), right where the big, huge, mother of all Mexican flags is now. The fountain will cost us around $2 million USD and our state tourism chief, Oscar Escobedo, promises these dancing waters will truly be one of a kind, something to behold, and don’t worry about the water shortage, what water shortage?

The project will be water, lights and music synced by computers.  The bid acceptance has been delayed two months because they couldn’t guarantee that the companies participating in the bidding were able to build a project “with the quality that we were looking for”. You should probably know by now that this phrase means they couldn’t find a bidder willing to pony up 20% of the cost upfront, but it looks like they found a pigeon now.

Flirty Tijuana out of control. As it turns out, someone in Tijuana decided it was a good idea to name a project to rehabilitate Tijuana’s red light district, you know, where all the prostitutes and bars are, “Tijuana Coqueta” something like flirty Tijuana in English. As you can imagine the backlash was launched almost instantaneously in social media with people saying that it was just incredible that our government was now promoting sex tourism and trying to publicly connect Tijuana’s name with prostitution in a playful way. Miguel Angel Badiola, president of TJ tourism and conventions committee, one of the supporters of the project, came under heavy fire after he gave a television interview where it looked like he was trying to promote this zone.

Badiola called the situation, “an unfortunate mistake based on a misunderstanding” and he said he never had a plan to promote sex tourism in Tijuana now or in the future. Anyway, all the donkey sex trade workers retired after the U.S. Navy made it tougher for sailors to come to Mexico.

Even so, Tijuana’s mayor Jorge Astiazarán, asked for Badiola’s resignation just for having such awful dirty thoughts in his head.  The COTUCO board did not back the mayor, saying that Badiola has actually done a good job and that they will give him a free pass on this one unfortunate boo boo.

Oh no! FACTA reporting starts now. Since September 30th, the new U.S. law called FACTA, (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), added the mandatory reporting of U.S. and Mexican bank accounts to tax authorities in their respective countries. So now we Mexicans can’t hide our money in the U.S. and you Gringos will not be able to hide yours in Mexico! They say every deposit in accounts of foreigners will be reported to their country of origin.  Time to move our dinero to Lichtenstein!

Lego investing in Mexico. The Lego company, you know the ones your kids used to drop on the floor just so you could step on them with your bare feet, has announced a significant investment for Mexico. They will double the size of their already functioning plant in Monterrey, investing around $600 million USD in the process and generating around 3,000 jobs. The company said the expansion will be gradual and that they want to be able to double their current production by 2022.

Another drug tunnel found in TJ. An underground tunnel measuring half a mile long was found last week starting from TJ and ending in the U.S. The tunnel was being used to transport drugs to the U.S. Well, of course it was, do you think they were moving Legos through there?

Around 10 tons of pot were confiscated along with 16 pot movers, with 15 of them being from the state of Sinaloa. When interrogated, the criminals said they were working for the Jalisco cartel, one of the most powerful cartels nowadays which has gained a lot of power in recent years.

Boat sinking date. We finally have a set date for the sinking of the Uribe 121 boat. Remember that? This is the boat that is going to be sunk in the sea in front of Puerto Nuevo, in order to jump start the Rosarito under water park.

The boat is being sunk Saturday, November 21st, at 11AM.  Lots of curious people are expected to watch. If you want to see the process comfortably, you could probably have breakfast at the Puerto Nuevo Hotel or stay there overnight, because the action is going to be right in front.

Francisco Ussel, president of the association that’s bringing us this extravaganza, said the sunken ship will be open for divers the very next day, November 22.

Parking meters in Rosarito. Or not. Just a few days after the city installed parking meters along Benito Juarez Boulevard in Rosarito, several local business owners, along with ordinary citizens, have formed a group that’s going on record that they’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

The group is directed by Veronica Montoya who already successfully defeated a similar movement a few years ago, when another municipal administration proposed the same thing.

The mayor swore the government will not keep the money from the parking meters, instead, a trust would be created, managed by local business owners, which will handle all the money, which will be invested in the rehabilitation of the area. Of course nobody believed that.

Hyundai comes to Rosarito. Our state governor, Kiko Vega, just inaugurated the construction of an $84 million factory for Hyundai. The company plans to build chassis for semi-trailer trucks. The governor said the new factory will bring around 2,000 new jobs to Rosarito and the investment in Rosarito is a direct result of the business missions he has been conducting in Asia, so we can all just kiss his patootie. Well, we paraphrase.  The factory is scheduled to begin operations next June.