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

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

1970

Village  telephone operator only 10

We know we live in an exceptional place, for where else do you find a handsome, black-eyed 10-year-old boy telephone operator? Manuel takes over his duties, at the town’s telephone in his father’s little fly-filled grocery store on the plaza, from his older sister, Maria, after school hours. Maria is 13, and an excellent operator, but a bit blasé about it. But Manuel is seriously business-like, alert and very polite. You are there on business, his business, and he takes your call with dispatch, then shows infinite patience with the busy big-city operators, crackling telephone lines and bad connections, and when your call is complete, courteously gives you the charges and your change. (from Ajijic Carrousel, by Anita Lomax)

1980

No Zoo in Los

Colomos Park

A group of citizens met with Guadalajara Mayor Arnulfo Villaseñor to express their objections to the zoo planned for Colomos Park by the state government. Opposition to the project was based on the ecological damage to the air and the water table; the latter being especially important since a large part of the water supply for the Hidalgo sector of this city comes from within the park.

The protestors pointed out that in its present state the park is a highly useful recreation spot for all classes of tapatios, whereas a zoo will involve an entrance fee, which will be out of reach for those who most need a restful, green area. They described as impossible the plan to equal the San Diego Zoo in Los Colomos, and suggested that it would be more to the point to improve conditions in the so-called zoo in Parque Agua Azul.

Complaining that some of the park’s large trees have already been chopped down in preparation for construction of the zoo, the concerned residents supported the idea of a fine zoo for the city, but not in Los Colomos Park.

1990

City’s water supply cut by 25 percent

Water rationing hit Guadalajara in late May and will last the whole month of June. Experts have been predicting the day when the city would run dry for more than a decade. A reduction of 25 percent in the supply of water pumped from Lake Chapala to Guadalajara was announced in late May by the Water Authority (SIAPA). This move will affect the water supplies of more than 150 different colonias in the city, with water shut off for two days each week. While SIAPA director Aristeo Mejia Duran said there would be no discrimination between more affluent areas of the city and poorer barrios, a brief survey conducted by this newspaper found that was not the case. Although localized rationing has been widespread in previous years, no metropolitan program affecting all districts has been implemented before.

2000

Ajijic couple slain in their home

Detectives assigned to Jalisco’s homicide division continued their probe into the June 16 murders of Nancy and Norris Price. While no clear motive has yet emerged as to why the couple were shot to death in their Ajijic home, police are following several lines of investigation.

FBI agents stationed at the U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara will help their Mexican counterparts in the investigation.

Rafael Fernandez Tavera, the Chapala Ministerio Publico agent overseeing the case told this newspaper that a friend of the couple said they had received a series of anonymous and insulting telephone calls over the past few months. There was no sign of a struggle or robbery.

The bodies were discovered by the couple’s maid, Susana Romero, shortly after she arrived at work the morning of June 16.

Price received wide recognition in the expatriate community for having been instrumental in helping keep Guadalajara’s U.S. Consulate General open after the federal government threatened to shut it down to keep in line with spending limits in the early 1990s.

2010

Elevated GDL road planned over rail tracks

The Jalisco state government wants to build an elevated highway (viaducto) dissecting Guadalajara from northwest to southeast — financed by the private sector  with a consession to operate it as a toll road for 25-30 years.

The plan would see a four-lane, 23-kilometer road tower 16 meters above the ground and follow the course of the city’s sole railway line. The 6.5-billion-peso highway would run from Avenida Aviación and slice the city diagonally, before forking off to link up with both the Guadalajara-Chapala highway and the highway to Zapotlanejo. It would have six exit points: Periferico, Patria, Lopez Mateos, Mariano Otero, Calzada Independencia and Lazaro Cardenas.

Editor’s note: This project never made it out of the planning stages.

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