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sanchez painting
Painting by Raul Sánchez Dión at the “XIX Bienal Plástica de Baja California” at CEART
Art Exhibits in Ensenada
text by connie ellig; photos by david hopps
If you need a break from holiday stress or crave a jolt of creativity and culture, why not check out one or more of the outstanding art expositions offered in Ensenada’s galleries, CEART Ensenada State Center of the Arts, or the Museo de la Vid y el Vino (Wine and Vine Museum) in Valle de Guadalupe? Ensenada’s art scene is extremely diverse and offers exhibitions of local, national and international artists. Spending a few hours exploring art is also a great way to relax while at the same time, impressing visiting friends and family with the potpourri of quality expositions.
“XIX Bienal Plástica de Baja California” Visual Arts Exposition
Thru December 31
Outstanding paintings, drawings, sculptures and graphic works by Baja California artists that were selected from the “XIX Bienal Plástica de Baja California” art competition held in 2013 are on display in the Galería Internacional of Ensenada’s Centro Estatal de las Artes (CEART) on the corner of Blvd. Costero (Lázaro Cárdenas) & Av. Club Rotario. Exhibition hours: 8am-8pm Mon.-Sat., noon-6pm Sun. Free admission. Info: CEARTE, tels. (646)173-4307 & (646)173-4308.
“Silent Studio of Seichi Kiyohara” Art Exposition
Thru December 31
In conjunction with Building Bridges Foundation of Los Angeles, CA, and the Japanese Association of Ensenada, CEARTE presents a retrospective of the works of this acclaimed Japanese-American artist (1921-2006) in the lobby and Galería Ernesto Muñoz Acosta of Ensenada’s Centro Estatal de las Artes (CEART) on the corner of Blvd. Costero (Lázaro Cárdenas) & Av. Club Rotario. Exhibition hours: 8am-8pm Mon.-Sat., noon-6pm Sun. Free admission. Info: CEART, tels. (646)173-4307 & (646)173-4308.
“Arte de Ojos Prisioneros (Art through the Eyes of Prisoners)” Art Exposition
Thru December 31
Paintings by Joaquin Lafarga are on display at the Galería de la Ciudad in the northern end of the Riviera Cultural Center, Blvd. Costero (Lázaro Cardenas), Ensenada. Gallery hours: 10am-2pm & 3-6pm Mon.-Fri., closed Sat. & Sun. Free admission. Info: Instituto de Cultura de Baja California (ICBC), tel. (646)177-3130.
“Kinderwunsch” Photo Exposition
Thru December 31
Internationally acclaimed Mexico City photographer Ana Casa Broda explores the intimate joys and complexities of motherhood in her book and exhibition at Galería 184, Av. Blancarte #184 (near Calle 2), Ensenada. Gallery hours: 9am-8pm Mon.-Fri., 10am-3pm Sat., closed Sun. Free admission. Info: Galería 184, tel. (646)178-2031, e-mail 
“Georgia, the Origins of Wine” Exposition
Thru December 31
A multimedia presentation from the Republic of Georgia, considered the oldest wine producing country in the world, is at the Museo de la Vid y el Vino (Wine and Vine Museum), located in Valle de Guadalupe between Rancho María Teresa and the Ejido Porvenir bridge at Km. 81.3 Carr. Tecate-Ensenada (“Ruta del Vino”). Exhibition hours: 9am-5pm Tues.-Sun., closed Mon. Free admission to “Georgia” exposition. Entrance fee $4dlls. to museum’s permanent exhibitions (50% discount for seniors and students). Info: Museo de la Vid y el Vino, tel. (646)156-8165 or 156-8166; e-mail 

Friends from Ensenada, the U.S. East Coast and Southern California admire the installation by Marco Miranda at the “XIX Bienal Plástica de Baja California” at CEART
miranda installation

Calendar Girls and Guys.....2015
courtesy of chuck smith
Have you ever seen the movie “Calendar Girls”? It seems that most people have. My wife and I were watching it two years ago when a thought came to me: "Why not do a calendar, in that vein, with local ‘older’ women? We had seen and met many gorgeous women in our first year here in Rosarito, so the idea was appealing.
OK, idea in mind...research was done; positive feedback. Models needed...put the word out - and eventually wound up with not just 12, but 39 gorgeous women! What to do?! Well, creativity was called for, and so we featured two women per month, and produced two calendars: the Gorgeous Women of Baja – Rosarito; and the Gorgeous Women of Baja - Ensenada.
It was a daunting task. I was not a photographer, and my wife and I had never tackled a project of this nature. Had we known up front all that would be involved...well, you get the idea. Fortunately, we had no idea what the challenges would be.
You see, the calendars were an artistic hit, and to our surprise, struck a deeper chord, beyond the physicality of these 'gently ripened' women. Comments include: “Magnificent use of settings – and how truly glamorous every woman looks!”; “Most beautifully done. Tasteful. Gorgeous treatment of the women. Awesome!”; “Your photography is stunning!!! Congratulations on creating such a fine piece of work!”; and “What you are doing is of more cultural importance than I think you realize.”
To this very day – a year after launch – wherever my wife and I go we are noticed and introduced as "The people who did OUR local calendars"! Those who had not seen the calendar have, however, heard of it; and ask us if we have a copy they can look at. And the positive feedback keeps coming.
OK, that’s all in the past. What about now...today? Well, two more Gorgeous Women calendars are on the way to the printer. And this year, by popular demand of so many women, we are producing the Handsome Hunks of Baja calendar. All three retail for $20dlls., with 20% of profits benefitting local charities.
But you can purchase any of the calendars at $15dlls. each, up to and including on the days of the Launch Parties; which are December 13 for the Rosarito calendar, and December 14 for Ensenada. The Handsome Hunks is a combined calendar, covering both areas, and will be released on the 13th.
Launch Parties are free to attend – food and beverages will be available at both. You can buy your calendars then, and get them autographed by the models. These are fun events and you will want to be there to cheer on and support your favorite model! For more info, contact Chuck Smith, Tijuana tel. (664)609-3321 or U.S. tel. (619)537-8929; e-mail 

maccachren tt
MacCachren/A. McMillin/Voss ‘Rockstars’ earns Overall, SCORE Trophy Truck win at 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000
from www.score-international.com
photos by david hopps
ENSENADA, Mexico – Running their game plan to perfection, a desert racing ‘dream team’ of Las Vegas’ Rob MacCachren, San Diego’s Andy McMillin and Jason Voss, of Gilroy, Calif., rolled like Rockstars, overcoming a brutally-rugged 1,275-mile course and over 200 challengers, driving to the overall and SCORE Trophy Truck victory Friday at the 47th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.
When the results became official after review of the data loggers in each finishing vehicle by SCORE officials, the MacCachren/McMillin/Voss trio had rocketed to a memorable race down Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. The talented trio finished the mentally-draining, physically grueling race from Ensenada to La Paz in 22 hours, 31 minutes and 27 seconds while averaging an impressive 56.64 miles per hour in the No. 11 Rockstar Energy MacCachren Motorsports Ford F-150.
The sport’s newest dream team blew by a field of 237 starters in cars, trucks, motorcycles and ATVs for a victory margin of nearly 29 minutes. The starting grid included 31 starters in the marquee SCORE Trophy Truck division for high-tech, 850-horsepower unlimited production trucks.
With the rugged course traveling on both sides of the peninsula, the world’s most famous desert race was a peninsula run, starting in Ensenada, Baja California and finishing in La Paz, Baja California Sur. With 10 checkpoints along the way, it was the longest course in history for the race in the 21 years it started in Ensenada and finished in La Paz.
Overall Podium
Finishing second overall and second in SCORE Trophy Truck to the desert dream team was the third-generation desert racing brother duo of Luke McMillin, El Cajon, Calif. and Dan McMillin, La Mesa, Calif. with a time of 23:00:08 (55.56mph) in their new No. 83 Mark Racing Ford F-150.
Completing the SCORE Trophy Truck podium and finishing third overall was the team of Cameron Steele, San Clemente, Calif./Pat Dean, Las Vegas, who covered the distance in 23:41:18 at an average speed of 54.29mph in the No. 16 Monster Energy Desert Assassins Chevy Silverado. A veteran racer, who has raced and won his class in several classes, it was Steele’s first podium finish in SCORE Trophy Truck.
Kawasaki Motorcycle Magic
In the motorcycle competition, the storyline was the same as it has been for a decade and a half – who will beat Honda. A different ending was revealed this year.
After a close battle nearly the entire length of the peninsula, emerging with the overall motorcycle victory was the THR Motorsports team of Ricky Brabec, Oak Hills, Calif./Robby Bell, Glendora, Calif./Steve Hengeveld, Flagstaff, Ariz./Max Eddy Jr, Barstow, Calif. Bell and Hengeveld are both veteran champion SCORE Baja racers riding previously for Honda.
Winning its 10th overall title in the SCORE Baja 1000 and first since 1996, Kawasaki broke the lengthy streak by Honda who leads with 24 overall victories in the race including 17 straight years of race championship teams until this year. For the THR Motorsports team, this was Brabec and Eddy Jr.’s first overall win in this race, the third for Bell and eighth overall win and 11th class win in the SCORE Baja 1000 for the veteran Hengeveld.
ATV Winner & Quick Facts
Winning the overall ATV title was the veteran team led by Mexico’s Javier Robles Jr. of Guadalupe Victoria. The Robles Jr. team covered the course on a Honda TRX450R in 27:59:29, averaging 45.83 mph. Co-riders with Robles Jr. on this difficult challenge were Manlio Diaz/Felipe Velez/Michael Cafro/Jorie Williams and Josh Row on a Honda TRX450R.
This year’s legendary desert classic was the final event of the five-race 2014 SCORE World Desert Championship.
SCORE Trophy Truck Showdown
With the season point championship on the line, two of the top five SCORE Trophy Truck point leaders were DNFs in the season-ending race. Entering number one and number four in the standings, leaving the race early with mechanical issues were Gustavo Vildosola Jr., Mexicali, Mexico in the No. 21 Vildosola Racing Branix Ford Raptor and B.J. Baldwin, Las Vegas in the No. 1 Baldwin Motorsports Monster Energy Chevy Silverado.
Fourth & Fifth
Fourth overall and in SCORE Trophy Truck was the team of Troy Herbst, Las Vegas/Ryan Arciero, Foothill Ranch, Calif. in 24:04:23 (53.04mph) in the No. 91 Monster Energy Terrible Herbst Motorsports Ford F-150.
Fifth was unlimited Class 1 winner Justin Davis, Chino Hills, Calif./Scott Schovajsa, Humble, Texas, with a time of 24:31:26 (52.14mph) in the No. 185 Green Army Motorsports Chevy-powered Jimco open-wheel desert race car. (read entire press release)
davis class 1

Compañeros de Baja Norte Make Donations to Local Charities
text by connie ellig; photo by david hopps
Compañeros de Baja Norte, A.C., was extremely active during the past few months and provided significant donations to local charitable organizations. The Ensenada-based social and service club supplied a new cooking griddle to Albergue San Vicente migrant shelter, a new washing machine to both Gabriel House of Mexico and Pequeños Hermanos orphanage, new tires for the Agua Viva Ministries school bus, seeing eye guide dog training for a member of Unidos Venceremos, and a sizeable cash donation to St. Paco Animal Rescue. Membership in the multicultural, multilingual Club Compañeros is open to all persons interested in meeting new friends and helping the local community. For more information e-mail
Compañeros de Baja Norte, A.C. helped with financial assistance for the numerous unwanted, mistreated and abused dogs and cats at St. Paco Animal Rescue in Cantú in Punta Banda. Left to right with four-footed friends: 2015 Compañeros President-Elect Nancy McKee, St. Paco founder Joy Meade, Compañero member Leon Crowell, and 2014 Compañeros President Mary Jane Boone.
companeros and st paco

2015 SCORE World Desert Championship Schedule Announced
from www.score-international.com
RENO, Nevada – SCORE International announced today its official five-race schedule for the 2015 SCORE World Desert Championship series featuring four races in Baja California, Mexico and one in the United States.
The biggest changes for the 2015 race season will be the season opener, SCORE San Felipe 250, now starting mid-January, the all new addition of the SCORE Baja Sur 500 race in April and the SCORE Imperial Valley 250 now taking place in September.
“It is truly the dawn of a new day in SCORE and the SCORE World Desert Championship series is having a significant impact in the world of motorsports,” said Roger Norman, CEO and President of SCORE International. “Mexican races are the cornerstone of SCORE and to have our first event entirely in Baja California Sur will add another colorful chapter to the SCORE Baja racing legacy.”
SCORE has also announced that final negotiations are being completed to again televise the entire SCORE World Desert Championship series nationally on the CBS Sports Network and internationally through syndication.
Norman continued, “With the diligence and creativity of BCII TV, SCORE has a viable domestic television package this year with the CBS Sports Network as our partner and our international syndication platform. When we finalize our 2015 television package it will continue to move SCORE up the visibility ladder with viable and sustainable programming.”
SCORE International will be celebrating its 42nd year as the world’s foremost desert racing organization in 2015 with a five-race series that will feature competition for 25 Pro and 5 Sportsman classes for cars, trucks, UTVs, motorcycles and ATVs.
2015 Schedule
Launching the 2015 SCORE World Desert Championship series schedule will be the first of the three original SCORE Baja races:
Round 1 will be the 29th SCORE San Felipe 250, Jan. 22-25 in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico.
Round 2 will be the inaugural SCORE Baja Sur 500 on April 16-19. Marking the first time a SCORE Baja race has been held entirely in Baja California Sur, it will be a point-to-point race starting in Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of Baja and finishing in Loreto on the east side of the peninsula along the Sea of Cortez.
Round 3 will be the 47th SCORE Baja 500, June 4-7, in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
Round 4 will be the 3rd SCORE Imperial Valley 250, Sept. 24-27 in Plaster City, Calif., USA.
Round 5 will be the 48th SCORE Baja 1000, Nov. 18-21. The most recognized name of all desert races, it will start and finish in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.
2015 Point Titles
In order to earn a 2015 SCORE World Desert Championship class point title, SCORE has announced that racers will have the option to run either the inaugural SCORE Baja Sur 500 or the 47th SCORE Baja 500. If a racer elects to run both races, his/her highest point total between those two races will be included in his/her point totals from the other three SCORE races which are all required starts in order to qualify for a season point championship. (read entire press release)
For more information, visit the official website of the SCORE World Desert Championship at www.score-international.com

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

toll road alt route

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 column about the interesting women in Rosarito.
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.

You can find the Baja Review on the 23rd of each month. Where you can find it is listed on the back page of the paper, which is tricky if you don’t have a copy. We try to make them available at the big restaurants and some of the hotels in Rosarito, La Misión, Ensenada, Punta Banda and Valle de Guadalupe. Please call me at (646)155-0581 if you would like an exact location. 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.


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