Last updateFri, 16 Mar 2018 10am

Looking Back: A review of February news from the last 50 years

In this monthly series, we republish a few of the headlines from our February editions 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.


Reporter celebrates fifth year

(from the editor’s column, Potpourri)

The fifth birthday of the Reporter has us in a thoughtful mood this week and we have been taking a sentimental look through the old files (yellowing very satisfactorily with age, we noticed) into the past.

My, how things have changed. Mind you, we don’t say they’ve improved. Only that they’ve changed. Change being the essence of growth, we suppose the Reporter has grown. We don’t of course mean from four pages to eighteen or twenty. Anybody can add a few pages. What we mean is that the Reporter has taken on added intellectual stature. You know. Significance. Like TIME magazine.

On glancing through early issues, we detect an editorial preoccupation with such things as the problem caused by an escaped turtle in the Consulate offices and getting water onto the greens of the old Chapala Country Club’s golf course. Well, those problems, important as they seemed at the moment, have passed. There are other signs of intellectual growth. In 1965, we spelled the word, “succeed” five times with only one “c.” Now, of course, we know. In 1966 we had trouble distinguishing among “council,” “consul” and “counsel.” We even went so far as to headline “New Vice Counsel Here,” which gave an altogether erroneous impression of the work done by our foreign service officers.

We began with four paid ads and several others we forced free on customers in the hope that they would act as shills and bring more real clients. It worked, and we now have 60 or 70 regular advertisers. This is economic development, whether you make any money or not. Your gross looks good. People respect a big gross. If you look good, the treasury department soon hears of it and then you can make small talk over cocktails about your taxes. A big gross is a good thing.

We start our sixth year, then, sustained by a Reporter full of good works and affairs that reflect a continuing social responsibility on the part of the English-speaking colony here, affairs that year after year convince us that for every “ugly” American outside the U.S. there are a host of “beautiful” ones. If you don’t believe it, read the Reporter, any issue.


Mounties, FBI join in search

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the FBI and Mexican police are looking for Michael Goodwin of Hull, Quebec, for the murders of two Canadians whose bodies were discovered January 12 in an outbuilding of an abandoned pig farm located on the road to El Salto, five kilometers from the Chapala highway. The bodies of the victims, Vancouver residents Rosa Sauer and John Miles Anderson, were discovered by a campesino tracking down some lost stock about 10 days after their deaths. Anderson’s documents were not on him and his credit card was used January 3 in Texas.

Rat poison takes toll on other animals

Many readers have been reporting the decimation of wildlife along the shores and the basin of Lake Chapala due to efforts by farmers and the Department of Agriculture to control crop losses by field rats, which have been on the increase.

This campaign, which is carried out in part by distributing poisoned grain throughout cultivated fields, is having a side effect of killing hundreds, if not thousands, of birds in the area. One reader reported that his blooded Labrador Retriever died during a dove hunting outing near Jocotepec, apparently of poison. Hunting dogs and household pets are in danger if they eat the dead rodents or birds.


AMSOC hits 3,000 members

A Valentine’s Day dance and the American Society of Jalisco’s annual country fair were planned during a recent board meeting. Bob Swartz, chairman of the membership committee ,reported that AMSOC had a net gain of 84 members during the previous 30 days, putting the present membership at 3,000. The fair, which is a major fundraising event for the organization’s charities, will be held March 6. President Ann Whiting praised board members responsible for organizing the Christmas Day Dinner, and pointed out that many of the 110 members who attended asked for more of such events. Thus, the Valentine’s Day dance.

Chapala Hwy lacks signage

With at least 12 highly dangerous crossing between Parque Montenegro on the southern edge of Guadalajara and the pueblo of Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos, the Guadalajara-Chapala carretera urgently needs more traffic warning signals.

With vehicles traveling at high speeds along this roadway characterized by steep embankments and deep ditches on either side, the Chapala highway is a potential death trap for both motorists and pedestrians. During the early months of the year, neblina (fog) covers many parts of the highway.


Lakeside boycott proposal nixed

Lakeside business owners have reacted with scorn to a proposed boycott against local businesses that has been proposed as a way to protest recent crime increases in Chapala and Jocotepec.

“It’s absurd; I’m not the police,” said one Lakeside business owner. “Where are they going to go? Guadalajara? It’s even more dangerous there!”

The boycott proposal was started by Bo Monroe in Chapala and was recently the subject of a front-page story in a Spanish-language Guadalajara daily. In response to the community’s concern over the violent deaths of a Canadian woman and a U.S. woman in recent days, Chapala Mayor Alberto Alcantar Beltran said making Lakeside a safer place to live is his number one priority. “We want to change the image of police in Chapala,” he said.

As to the boycott, Kay Burnham with Continental Realty expressed her doubts about it. “I just don’t see how it can work. Whoever thought this up hasn’t considered all the consequences.”


Pro-lifers march

Guadalajara’s Catholic faithful took to the streets February 17 to protest a law approved last year that made first trimester abortions legal in Mexico. Somewhere between 4,000 and 8,000 protesters danced, chanted and carried signs (often quite graphic) throughout the downtown, pausing periodically for prayer.

Father laments son’s death

Raul Lopez never imagined he would be at the center of an environmental movement of any kind, much less fighting the state governor to take action on a contaminated river.

Just 24 hours ago, he buried his eldest son, eight-year old Miguel Angel Lopez Rocha, who died February 13 after spending 18 days in a coma. He died of arsenic poisoning after falling into the polluted Santiago River that runs by Lopez’ home. State leaders have been reluctant to accept culpability for the Rio Santiago’s deplorable condition or address the issue. But Miguel’s death has been a lightning rod for El Salto residents demanding a solution.

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