Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Salton Sea with Paddie Connelly


Last updated 8/7/2018 at 11:36am

It goes without saying that we may have finally reached the fabled Dog Days of Summer. Aunty Peanut is certain of it; in fact, she has mastered a very hard stare which she delivers with no small amount of aplomb when you ask her if she needs to make a trip outside. Otherwise, and quite gratefully, things are very, very quiet here as we store up our energies, thoughts and creative impulses for a scintillating autumn.

Those Drat Bugs, A-G-A-I-N!

I don’t know about you but I have, quite frankly, had it with boatmen bugs. I also realize expressing undue annoyance does not help one teeny, tiny bit.

However, I have been known to utter a choice epithet or two lately. And, doing so I admit, does make me feel a little better. Since these guys appear to be fact of life here on the West Shores (and who knows where else in our valleys) I thought some exploration about them might be interesting – at least for the kid in me. So, here we go:

Water Boatmen – “Corixids” (True Bug)

My Home: Generally, I am found in freshwater ponds, streams, lakes that have aquatic plants. I am attracted to night lights and can fly out of the water.

What I eat: I am primarily an herbivore. I have a soft tube shaped mouth part that I use to suck in nourishment from aquatic plants and algae. I use my saliva (spit on the food) to dissolve it so I can suck the juices back in with my soft tube mouth part. I can not bite and, subsequently, do not bite humans.

What I look like: My body is dark brown or black, about 1/2” long, an elongated shape, with short front legs that have a scoop on the end that I use to gather food.

I use my oar shaped hind legs to swim, and I swim right side up. I carry my air supply with me, under my shell. I have wings and can fly at night because I am attracted to artificial lights.

How I am born: I go through three stages of development or incomplete metamorphosis: egg, nymph and adult. My egg is attached to underwater plants and rocks. I hatch into a nymph and will molt to reach my adult form. I receive my wings in my last molt. It takes me around 6 weeks to go from egg to adult. I can live about a year and even under ice as long as there are air bubbles.

Fun Facts: I use the air bubble I keep on my body to breathe underwater just like a scuba diver.

To keep from floating back to the surface, I have to hook my legs on a plant or rock. About 525 species of water boatmen bugs are known worldwide, 132 in North America. Water-boatmen eggs are used as food in Mexico and some other parts of the world. Eggs are collected from aquatic plants, dried, and ground into flour.

Resource: and

AP Scholars

In 2017, there were a total of 101,449 AP Scholar awards earned in the State of California. This past academic year, West Shores High School had two AP Scholars. Congratulations! This is the highest number of AP Scholars West Shores has had in its history.

Advance Placement (AP) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. The program consists of college-level courses developed by the AP Program that high schools can choose to offer and the corresponding exams that are administered once a year.

The AP Scholar Awards recognize high school students who have demonstrated exemplary college-level achievement on AP Exams (as designated by the) Advanced Placement Program. According to Principal, Richard Pimentel, the overall AP scores for all eligible WSHS students, are the benchmark by which the school assesses its academic progress. Up, up, up and higher.

Fast Facts

• There are 38 AP courses in seven subject categories.

• Each AP course is modeled on a comparable introductory college course in the subject.

• Each course culminates in a standardized college-level assessment, or AP Exam.

• AP Exams are given in May each year at testing locations all over the world.

• Schools must be authorized by the AP Course Audit to offer approved AP courses and use the AP designation.

I am quite certain that I speak for all of us when I say that, as a community, we are proud of our students and proud of how very well they continue to represent us and the values we hold dear.

School Starts August 16, just how ready are you?

Salton Community Services District Says, “So Long”

Teri Klontz, eight-year veteran of the Salton Community Services District front office staff, has worked her last day. Incidentally, five of those eight years years was as a non-paid volunteer. Now that’s remarkable!

In a small going away ceremony, Teri, wife of Board Member, Chris Klontz, was reminded over and over of just how very much folks around here love her.

But, not to fret, Teri will remain very active as she assists hubby, Chris, the new Commander of VFW Post 3251, Desert Shores, with all sorts of duties including kitchen management at the Post. She is also a new great-grandmother. We love you, Teri, your infectious smile, warm hugs and undeniable sense of “what is right.” It has certainly been our privilege to be able to interface with you and we are counting on your being in our lives for quite some time. Peace out, Dudette.

Watch this Space for emerging stories on:

• Juan Baustista de Anza Charter School – Salton City Campus

• Algae Bloom*

• School Updates and Important News

• Parents-on-Patrol program

• Special thanks to Carlene Ness who has furnished us with the following resource for checking the conditions of the Sea:

This is the State Water Board’s Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program; it is an interactive page for tracing harmful algae blooms (HABS) in California.


You might be interested in: