STORIES FROM THE PAST
50 years ago
Westmorland City Council by a 3-2 vote last night ousted Tony Belew Jr. as mayor and city police commissioner, and in the same action named Tommy Gallardo to take over the two posts. Councilmen Anthony Rodriguez Jr., Joe Reyna and Gallardo voted for Belew’s removal, while Belew and Howard Dickerson cast negative votes.
The dramatic and sudden action by the council came after Belew was sharply criticized by three of his fellow councilmen for failing to notify them regarding the alleged resignation of Police Chief Philip Cocova on Jan. 23.
Belew, who admitted he might have “slipped” in not notifying each councilman of the resignation, later said he was “surprised” at the council’s drastic action in stripping him of the titles of mayor and police commissioner.
40 years ago
CALIPATRIA — About 150 students staged a 20-minute walkout at Calipatria High School this morning in a show of support for Principal Miyoshia Ikeda.
It was the latest development in a communitywide controversy that has erupted over a school board action Thursday to not renew Ikeda’s contract as principal next year. The action was taken in a specially called executive session.
Ikeda is a tenured teacher and can remain in that capacity at the school. His firing from the principal position takes effect at the end of the current school year.
The student action came after 98 persons from the community jammed a school board meeting Monday night in support of retaining Ikeda as principal.
The students met in the middle of campus about 9:30 a.m., then marched to District Superintendent Eddie Ikard’s office. The youths chanted slogans such as “We want Ikeda” and carried posters. One poster stated “If Ikeda goes, Ikard goes too.” Another said “Fairness to Ikeda.”
30 years ago
Construction of a pipeline to ship water from Imperial County to San Diego County has long been viewed as a pipe dream because of the expense, but Imperial Irrigation District officials are now looking to an existing Mexican aqueduct to solve the water problems of both counties.
IID officials Wednesday met with representatives of the Mexican government to discuss the feasibility of shipping IID water to the San Diego County Water Authority by connecting the two agencies’ systems to a pipeline that presently transports Colorado River water from Mexicali to Tijuana, said IID President Tony Gallegos.