>> 50 Years Ago — Imperial Valley’s economy will be hard hit by the impending strike of railroad workers against Southern Pacific, in the opinion of local officials. The strike could hit anytime today.
While trucks, have taken over a large part of local shipping. Produce shipments would appear to be the hardest hit.
John Taylor, assistant agricultural commissioner, said produce shippers would be affected drastically as over half the lettuce shipped from the Valley is sent by rail.
>> 40 Years Ago — An alert agriculture inspector, who noted that in a field of lettuce near Holtville every seventh row was disclosed, set off an investigation leading to withdrawal of a pesticide being used on an experimental basis.
Claude Finnell, Imperial County agricultural commissioner, identified the pesticide as “Monitor” and said he withdrew its use until further notice.
Finnell said samples were taken of lettuce in the fields known to have been treated with the new pesticide. They were sent to state laboratories in Sacramento for analysis. Test showed clearly an over tolerance residue.
The state sent to the Valley a mobile testing laboratory which made further tests of known users of the Monitor pesticide. In each case, there was an over-tolerance residue present.
>> 30 Years Ago — Three people remain in hospitals today with injuries sustained in the Monday collision of a farm worker bus and a car.
The accident, which injured 41 people apparently, was caused when the bus ran a stop sign, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The bus transporting Bud Antle Inc. farm workers was broadsided by a car heading north on Forrester Road driven by Clarence Hoppa, 54, of Hinkley, according to the highway patrol.
>> 20 Years Ago — “Politics and dollars” will determine how well prepared Imperial County will be to take advantage of the benefits coming from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Although California Department of Transportation officials released a report last week slating Imperial County for over $378 million in road and rail improvements that would complement the trade agreement, only $163 million of the projects has been approved.
The approved projects had funding earmarked even before the trade agreement was being planned, however, and a Caltrans official describes the rest of the projects as a “wish list.”