50 years ago — Rain surprised the Imperial Valley Sunday, dropping 1.5 inches from 2:55 p.m. Sunday to 3 a.m. Monday, and raising the total rainfall figure to 3.17 inches since January, 0.33 inch above the yearly average.

Utility companies began their “mopping up” activities this morning, as calls from residents reported damage to power and television lines.

The Imperial Valley Cable Co. reported Imperial and the Naval Air Facility were the areas hardest hit by the storm. Service in Imperial had been out since 4 p.m. Sunday after mud buried an amplifier on Route 86, a company spokesman said. Crews finished repairing the service about 10 a.m. today.

Water damaged power lines for about 12 hours at NAF Sunday night and two or three other outages, mostly in the El Centro area, also were reported. “Workmen are out now and will complete the repairs as soon as possible,” the spokesman said.

The telephone company said it had a few wet cables that impaired service but no serious problems from the storm. “We lucked out,” said Howard Rose, the company’s general manager.


40 years ago — The Seismic Safety Commission concluded Friday state policy should be changed to require better supports for mobile homes to prevent future widespread damage as occurred in the Oct. 15 earthquake.

After a day-long public hearing, the commission also criticized federal guidelines for disaster assistance that only allow immediate earthquake damage to be repaired even though that may not bring the building up to safety standards.

The comments are to be expanded in a staff report that is expected to take two to three months to complete. The commission is advisory to the state legislature and the governor.

Although the commission was in the Valley Thursday and Friday to review damage and to take public testimony, most county officials avoided the hearing at the direction of the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors Tuesday directed only Planning Director Richard Mitchell to testify even though the commission had scheduled Sheriff Oren Fox and Acting Fire Chief Carl Schwettman to speak.


30 years ago — Bud of California has told the eleven Imperial Valley farmers who grow lettuce and other crops for the company to make their own harvesting and marketing arrangements due to the strike by Teamsters Local 890, which represents Bud’s 3,500 field workers statewide.

Salinas-based Bud is one of the Valley’s largest vegetable harvesting and marketing companies, employing several thousand workers in the harvest of lettuce and other crops. The Valley lettuce harvest begins the first week of December.

The Teamsters struck Bud’s Salinas-area harvest Oct. 26 after workers rejected a third contract offer from the company. That offer included wages lower than the previous contract for workers in southern growing areas and an extension of the work day. Under that offer, workers would not have been eligible for overtime until they had worked nine hours in a day.

On Friday, independent Bud growers in Salinas began informing the union they were rescinding their marketing contracts with Bud and were therefore free to harvest their crops using labor contractors and market the product under other labels, said Local 890 spokesman Salvador Carrillo. The union has not yet heard from Imperial Valley Bud growers, he said.

Once the growers decide to market with companies other than Bud, “there is very little we can legally do” to prevent other workers from harvesting the crop, said Carrillo. Pickets or banners at the fields would be illegal, he said.


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