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lunar eclipse by d. hopps 4-15-15 at 12:10AM
Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse in Ensenada, B.C., Mexico
on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 12:17AM
by david hopps



Tijuana-Ensenada Toll Road Map
courtesy of www.discoverbajacalifornia.com

toll road alt route


Club Compañeros de Baja Norte Installs 2014 Council Officers
text by connie ellig & photo by david hopps

Club Compañeros de Baja Norte introduced its new 2014 Council Officers and Council Members at a festive Inaugural Ball & Dinner held on January 25, 2014. Established in 1992 as a legal, charitable, non-profit association in Mexico, the club’s purpose is to promote good fellowship throughout the community and to support local charities. The Ensenada-based club assists a dozen local charities including scholarship students, handicapped and blind programs, an Indian community, Christmas Baskets for the Needy, the DIF Collective Matrimony, Casa Hogar del Anciano de Ensenada A.C. (Home for the Aged), Angeles sobre Rueda Deportistas y Optimistas de Ensenada (Angels on Wheelchairs), Centro de Apoyo a la Mujer Ensenadense, A.C. (CAME Center for Abused Women), Centro de Rehabilitación Gabriel (Gabriel House, a shelter for children with disabilities), and Pequeños Hermanos Orphanage. In order to raise money, the club holds one theme dinner fundraiser every month (ex. Valentine’s or Father’s Day party, Italian Night, a Taco Fiesta, Luau, etc.) to benefit the “charity of the month.”
 
In addition to fundraising events, Compañeros de Baja Norte organizes an assortment of social activities like weekly bridge games at the clubhouse and monthly lunches at local restaurants. All activities, including meetings, are open to the public. General meetings are held at 10:30am on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at the clubhouse on Calle Mazatlán #256 in Fracc. Acapulco, one mile south of Ensenada. Membership ($20dlls. annually) is open to all persons interested in meeting new friends and helping the local community. For more information about Compañeros de Baja Norte, contact 2014 President John Connolly at tel. (646)156-5306; e-mail  A monthly e-mail calendar of Compañeros activities is available by request.
 
The 2014 council from left to right: Nancy McKee, Liz Romero, Trish Moran (Corresponding Secretary), DJ Broughton, Katrina Tinoco (Co-Vice President), Patrick Lonergan (Treasurer), Mary Jane Boone (Co-Vice President), Elizabeth Lonergan and Scotty Godfrey. Absent from photo: John Connolly (President), Anajean Altman (Recording Secretary) and council members Jaime Casarin and Lafe Purvis.
2014 companeros board of officers


SCORE announces CBS Sports Network will Televise entire 2014 SCORE World Championship Series
from www.score-international.com
RENO, Nevada – SCORE International’s Roger Norman announced that CBS Sports Network will televise the entire five-race 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship series. Each one-hour telecast will air the month following each event, starting with the season-opening 28th Annual Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 desert race.
 
Round 1 of the five-race 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship series will be held in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico, Feb. 27-March 2. In 2014, two SCORE races will be held in the United States and three in Mexico.
 
This deal provides the most expansive television coverage package in the 41-year history of SCORE, the world’s foremost desert racing organization.  The regular telecast time slot for the SCORE events will be Sunday nights at 9pm ET. Further, a sixth show will cover the 2014 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 qualifying event, held Nov. 4-7 in conjunction with the annual SEMA Show automotive industry trade show in Las Vegas.
 
“One of our primary goals when we acquired SCORE International was to develop a viable television package as quickly as possible,” said Roger Norman, SCORE CEO and President. “We welcome the challenge of developing our product for tremendous added exposure in new markets and are excited to have CBS Sports Network help introduce the world’s best desert racers to a national audience.”
 
The 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship series will open its season by visiting Mexico for the first of three annual SCORE Baja races. The race itself will be held along the azure waters of the Sea of Cortez in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.
 
CBS SPORTS NETWORK
CBS Sports Network is available across the country through local cable, video and telco providers and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 221 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, including a full programming schedule and how to get CBS Sports Network, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com (read entire press release)


Mexico: A Traveler's Guide to Safety Over Sensationalism
from BanderasNews.com and amar.org.mx
Baja, California - Mexico, one of the world’s great travel destinations, is often singled out for violent crime without telling the whole story. While there is sporadic violence along parts of the U.S. border, the majority of Mexico’s key tourism areas are not only safe, but safer than many other popular tourism areas.
 
While the media often portrays Mexico as the most dangerous place on earth, it is statistically quite safe. According to NationMaster.com which uses U.N.-based data, Mexico doesn't even make the list of the 36 nations with the highest murder rates. Mild-mannered nations like Sweden and Switzerland top Mexico for murders on NationMaster.com. The assault rate in the U.S. is nearly 5 times greater than that of Mexico in the independent Prominix report adjusted for under-reported crime.
 
Even when we add on independent estimates for unreported homicides, Mexico ranks 21st behind many popular vacation destinations. Places we think of as idyllic Caribbean retreats have double, triple, even quadruple the murder rates of Mexico. Mexico’s famous vacation areas are even safer than the averaged statistics, and even safer still for tourists.
 
The Yucatan is as safe as rural U.S. states.
The magnificent beaches and ancient ruins of the Mexican State of Yucatan are among the safest and most spectacular resort beaches in the world. Yucatan’s  low homicide rate is slightly lower than the rural U.S. States of Wyoming, Montana, Oregon and Maine.
 
Mexico is safer than many cities in the U.S.
More than 150,000 Americans safely visit Mexico every day. And while the media sensationalizes stories of violence in Mexico, Mexico is safer than many major U.S. cities. Travelers feel relatively safe visiting popular U.S. cities like Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington D.C, or Atlanta. Visitors from around the world enjoy these vibrant cities in relative, reasonable safety. Yet each of these cities is statistically less safe than Mexico.
 
Mexico and politically charged Media Bias
In the debate on immigration reform in the US, the facts on safety in Mexico have become a casualty of politics. To change public opinion and policy, politicians sometimes throw fuel on the fire. If you make up an exciting story about “severed heads in the desert”, it gets a lot of attention and people believe it. The governor of Arizona admitted this story was baseless, but only after months of damage was successfully inflicted to the image of Mexico. The homicide rates above are facts from the FBI, not political fabrications.

Media Favoritism versus Facts
New Orleans is beloved and its renaissance is showcased in the news. The FBI reports the murder rate of New Orleans is declining, but it is nearly 4 times higher than all of Mexico and over 5 times higher than Mexico City. New Orleans is still an amazing place to visit and the Media is right to champion this inspirational city. But Mexico is at least as remarkable and there is a clear difference in how each of these storied destinations is portrayed in contemporary news.
 
Every city and country has places that are safe and dangerous. Mexico is no exception. The areas that are dangerous should be avoided. And those that are safe should be enjoyed and celebrated. (read entire story)


The Baja Review
text by barbara keller; photo by david hopps

Celebrating its first anniversary in January 2013, the Baja Review is a hard copy, print on paper newspaper with no breaking news. It’s published once a month and is on the stands on the 23rd for the coming month. The focus is good restaurants, wineries, hotels, music, outdoor life, events, and community. My agenda is to inform, comfort and encourage the English speaking ex-pats living here, to support and stimulate the Mexican economy, and in time, to reach and reassure the folks contemplating tourism in northern Baja.
 
The Baja Review has some excellent writers: Tom Gatch, of Hooked on Baja fame, composes the fishing column and a restaurant review column; Sitara Perez chronicles a wine diary of her first year making wines in the Guadalupe valley; Susan Shea provides a golf column. Classical music aficionado and choral ensemble member Margit Gantt presents classical music reviews. Bunny Wingate, a prolific writer and playwright, does a monthly column about the interesting women in Rosarito. And from time to time we have the wine report - wine tastings hosted by Juan Hussong of Sano’s Restaurant in Ensenada.
 
The quality is good, the articles are interesting, and the ads are cheap. Be sure to check out the Baja Review, now online at www.bajareview.com
 
If you have stories or articles that fit generally into the categories we focus on, you are welcome to contact me at (646)155-0581 or e-mail barbarakeller3@gmail.com with your questions or submissions. Please keep stories less than 500 words and nothing scary or contentious.
 
From South to North you can find the Baja Review on the 23rd or 24th of the month in many places, but for sure at Baja Mama’s Restaurant (Punta Banda), Terra Peninsular Community Center & Gallery (Ensenada), L.A. Cetto Cava at Km. 108 highway north of Ensenada, Ochentos Pizza (San Antonio de las Minas), and Tres Hermanos Grocery (San Antonio de las Minas). Between Ensenada and Rosarito, the Baja Review is at La Fonda Restaurant and Hotel, Splash Restaurant and Bar, Baja’s Click-on.com Business Center and Charly’s Place, and in Rosarito, Rod and Dottie’s Mail Room, International Mail Service at Oceana Plaza, and the Rosarito Beach Hotel. Once you have a copy of the Baja Review, check the back page for a listing of other places you can find the paper. Enjoy, please, and I welcome feedback.


Get Hooked on Hooked on Baja
hooked on baja coverEscape to a land of magical, natural beauty that offers a warm sun, a host of beautiful coastlines and some of the very finest saltwater fishing on the entire planet. Hooked on Baja by Tom Gatch gives you the maps, GPS waypoints, proper angling techniques, tackle and species information that you need to be successful when fishing and exploring the coasts of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.

Much more than a simple fishing guide, Hooked on Baja incorporates many true-life adventures from some of Baja’s foremost outdoors personalities along with travel information, deliciously authentic south of the border recipes and, for those who end up being ‘hooked on Baja’ themselves, vital information on how to go about purchasing and legally securing real estate property along the picturesque coast of the Baja California peninsula.

Hooked on Baja allows readers to step away from the hustle, bustle and traffic gridlock that are a regular part of life in many of the crowded urban communities north of the Mexican border. Discover a place where there are still countless opportunities for relaxation, recreation and retirement in an enchanting world where the fish are nearly always biting, and lines of pelicans are regularly observed gliding silently mere inches above the pounding surf. 

Released on September 15, 2007, Hooked on Baja is now available at Borders, Barnes & Noble and Costco warehouse stores in southern California, as well as through most major online booksellers.


Chewing the (Low) Fat with “Burro Bob”
text by connie ellig; photos by david hopps & connie ellig
author bob wiseman with cookbooksOn the evening I sat down to interview noted Southwest cookbook author Bob Wiseman, it had been a long twelve-hour day at the J.D. Hussong Chili Cookoff in Ensenada. We could hear the chili and salsa competitors celebrating and/or consoling themselves with margaritas and beer while singing karaoke in the bar. With great fortitude we resisted the temptation to join the festivities and instead proceeded with the interview.

As I discovered, a conversation with “Burro Bob” (as he is known in chili cookoff circles) can cover a colorful spectrum of topics ranging from Mexican and Southwest cooking to history, geography, travel, photography, western writers and fly-fishing. (read entire story with recipes)

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