Can you believe that February is over?

This is crazy, and time is passing too quickly. The last 7 days alone have been enough for me to start pulling out the Christmas ornaments and planning for New Years Eve.

Here's why:

Last Thursday was Magdelena's funeral. I drove Mele (Another member of our church) to the funeral home. We headed up to the chapel. Mele asked me if I wanted to go see Magdelena “resting” - I said no, but that I would watch her purse. Mele walked up to the casket, leaned over the side and screamed out “NO NO NO!” and came running back to me. I was really concerned because that Mele was reacting so loudly...it created a little bit of a scene. When Mele came back to me, she screamed out “It is not Magdelena!” So, we were in the wrong room. Eventually we laughed it off.

Meanwhile, I missed out on the Economic Development committee's first network event. Bunch of people turned out – which is great. Anytime DLANC's name is attached to an activity, we all want it to work out well.

Saturday was the Mayor's budget day. I spent all morning hearing about the doom and gloom of the City's budget. I had a conversation with someone who lives close to the Wilshire Rapid line. He mentioned that he tends to see people of color on the bus, and that it would be unlikely he'd use transit. Of course, I inserted both my feet and said - “The day will come that your kids will take away your drivers license, and this is the transit system you will become dependent on.” The look on his face told me that I clearly lost him on the idea that one day he'll lose his license.

Then, I spent the afternoon updating the DLANC roster and pulling together the bylaw updates. Sent the information off to DLANC, and two days later it came flying back because the packet was incomplete. I'm okay with it, because thankfully – we need to make changes to our bylaws, and I can't just make it so.

Monday...blur.

Tuesday – Community Meeting
I think it turned out well. I always hope for lots and lots of people, but I had a number that I really wanted to hit – which the community did a great job. Because I worked the speaker timer, I was thinking about the very first time I spoke at a public meeting.

I was 15, and we were discussing boundaries for a new special district. I was so nervous when I walked into the large room at the Theler Center. There was at least 100 people in there. I had prepared a short statement – which once my name was called I ran up to the podium and didn't have my statement. The timer was started, I launched into my speech. I was maybe two sentences into my soapbox statement and a commissioner stopped me and reminded me to state my name, my street address, and then to continue.

So, my pointers:

1)Take your notes with your to the podium and microphone.
2)When you get to the microphone, briefing get familiar with your post. Look for a timer, notetaker, facilitator. Don't start talking until you're good to go.
3)Take a breath
4)Don't be nervous, someone is listening to you or recording you.
5)Start by saying “My name is (Insert Your Name Here)”
6)Stick to your points, use your notes.
7)Don't worry if you think you sound silly or “stupid” - this is a question/comment/concern...if you feel it's a legitimate Q/C/C, you owe it yourself to mention it.
8)When your time is up, it's up.

And, when your time is up and you still have more to say – write it down. Comment forms are valuable. Don't feel compelled to leave your comment that night, or you could also consider writing a short comment, and submit your longer comment later. Community meetings sometimes turn into a neighborhood social hour and you don't get a chance to really dig into your concern, or consider the impact of what's being proposed.

One of the most frustrating things I hear from my neighbors is that they might say that people in charge don't listen to them. I feel that maybe it isn't that people making decisions don't know about the concerns until a neighbor says something. As a result, there's a lot of chicken & the egg problems...but it's really that someone thinks the other is not listening. At the end of the day it is that no one has said anything! It would be funny except...well...it's not.

If you don't like something, just write the email. Tell me what you don't like and how you would like to see it changed. Actually – don't tell me...go to the project website and send in your comment from there.

Can I brag just for a moment

My dentist ROCKS!

He sent me a reminder email that I needed to come in for a a cleaning.

I sent him an email with my available times and dates.

And, now I have an appointment.

http://www.zendental.com

Funny things happen

A couple of months ago my dad told me that the Girl Scouts were looking for me. I was in scouts for all 12 years of school, loved almost every minute of it. Went to summer camp, worked at summer camp, and occasionally day dream about sitting on the docks in the nice summer sun...

Anyways, I sent them a letter, letting them know what I was up to, and what I've been doing all these years. (At 31, I have to admit...I don't want to think I've done much...but that's not what I hear). The next thing I get is an email asking me for permission to use the letter, and to send along pictures of me in my uniform.

It was rough to find a picture. I have a lot of pictures of trees, snails, and t-ball uniforms, and tea parties. But, I couldn't find just one picture of me in a brown, green, or blue uniform. Until Saturday night....

I was going through a box of Mommo's stuff, and there it was:





Not embarrassed by it. The old woman is Mommo. The blond is my sister. And, that thing in a brown uniform...that's me. Probably trying to sell cookies to my aunts and uncles.

We don't just sell cookies!

Girl Scout robotics team wins teamwork award

Contributed by: Brenna Humann on 2/15/2008

Story and photo submitted by Heidie Rigert

Team "sAVvy," the Antelope Valley Girl Scout robotics team, won the Teamwork Award at the F.I.R.S.T. Lego League's (FLL) Los Angeles Regional Robotics Championships Saturday, Jan. 26.

"It shows that we really did do good teamwork. I think we did really well during our first season overall, because we won either one or two awards in each of our two tournaments and we also won an award in the championship," said Aisha Rigert, a Cadette Girl Scout who founded the team a year ago.

F.I.R.S.T.'s (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competitions are designed to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology.

Participating on a competition team is a fun way to learn about mechanical design and computer programming as well as teamwork and other life skills.
The F.I.R.S.T. family of competitions includes robotics, Vex Challenge and Lego League.

"I think that my daughter has gained a lot of confidence and has had a very positive experience. It helped build her self-esteem and the whole experience has taught her that working hard and determination can have really good outcomes," said Wendy Burkey, a parent of one team member.

Each year, F.I.R.S.T. Lego League (FLL) teams must build robots to master various themed "missions." This year's challenge involved a "Power Puzzle," in which the teams examined the impact of personal energy choices on the environment, economy and life around the globe.

In a battery of different missions, teams had to build a robot, based on the "Lego Mindstorm NXT kit," that could complete as many missions as possible. Competitors design the robot by writing their own programs in software using "blocks" that make the robot move or interact.

Various missions this year included the mock moving of "solar panels," placing "hydro-dams" on a "river," connecting "communities" to "power plants" via power line grids, moving "wave turbines" into an "ocean," processing harvested "corn" and "planting trees."

The competition's Teamwork Award is presented to the team that best demonstrates extraordinary enthusiasm, exceptional partnerships and the practice of "gracious professionalism," a top FLL goal.

To win the award, the team competed in the day-long championship event along with 20 other top-ranked teams from the Los Angeles region, including teams from Sacred Heart and Desert Christian schools.

Scores were derived from, "A combination of an interview with a judge, a teamwork activity where you have to solve a problem in five minutes or less, and how well the team worked together during the three performance rounds with the robot," explained Rigert.

Each team also delivers a presentation based on the year's research assignment.

Team sAVvy is sponsored by SETLA, the Scientists, Engineers and Technicians Leadership Association. The association, based in the Antelope Valley, provided the robot, laptop computer, field set-up kit, and other supplies for the inaugural season as well as two mentors for the team - Renee Pasman and Vanessa Hartenstine.

"Obviously I am very impressed (with the award), especially since they are a rookie team. It is a testament to how they work together as a team," said Pasman, one of two Lockheed Martin engineers who coached the girls during their first season. "I am so impressed by all the work and effort the girls put in, and all the preparation they put in at the meetings. They worked together and learned a whole lot about science and technology. They weren't afraid to ask questions - that's how they learned ... and were successful."

Rigert started the team as a service project for her Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest honor a Cadette Girl Scout can earn. Rigert has spent many hours during the past year planning and implementing her project.

"I am grateful that Aisha picked this to be her silver project so my daughter could be involved in it," Burkey said. "Without Aisha's hard work, there would not have been a robotics team. She used her dad's experience and her mom's, not to better herself, but a whole group of girls."

This spring, sAVvy will begin recruiting additional team members for the FLL 2008 to 2009 tournament season, which runs August through January. Girls ages 9 to 14 are eligible to apply.

Those interested should contact Pasman or Hartenstine by e-mail at ru.savvy@yahoo.com.

"I am looking forward to next season and seeing what the girls can do," Pasman said.

For information about the F.I.R.S.T. Lego League, visit www.firstlegoleague.org.

Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's pre-eminent organization dedicated solely to girls - all girls - where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, they build character and skills for success in the real world.

In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives, such as leadership, strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.

For more information about Antelope Valley Girl Scouts, contact the Girl Scouts - Joshua Tree Council's Lancaster Service Center in the Lancaster Marketplace, 2330 Mall Loop Road, Suite 119, Lancaster.

You can also call 661-723-1230 or fax 661-951-0680.

Quimby - another long four letter word

Quimby.

Quick story - I knew a guy growing up, and his last name was Quimby. Although I was a teenager, I thought that he was a pima....and I thought I was the only one who thought that way. He was against raising property taxes, checking septic systems, on and on...a great libertarian.

And, while there's this great libertarian streak in me, I'm more of the liberal-libertarian... So, when I started writing letters to the editor of the local paper, imagine my surprise when people started to also write letters supporting what I was saying.

In any case, the Quimby issue has been one of the uniting topics in downtown. Say quimby to any residents and they roll their eyes. It's almost tagging someone "it" and running away. No one wants to be "it" right now.

In any case - the link to Anna Scott's article in the Downtown News, isn't up yet. But, once it is, I'll update the post.

But, Laura Chick's report is up. And, you can download it here.

Happy reading....

Regional Connector Meetings for Downtown Next Week

When you move to downtown, you quickly learn that we have a lot of meetings. :-)

Yes - I work on this project, and you should still come to one of these meetings.

Regional Connector Transit Corridor Study Project Update

February 26 and 28, 2008

You are invited to a Metro project update on the Regional Connector Transit Corridor Study. Please join us at one of the dates and times below to receive a status report on the project and to learn about the schedule for future steps.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Japanese American National Museum

369 E. 1st Street, Los Angeles

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Los Angeles Central Library - Board Room

630 W. 5th Street. Los Angeles

Agenda
Project Update Presentation 30 minutes
Question and Answer Session 60 minutes

In November 2007, Metro held two public scoping meetings to obtain community input on the scope of the alternatives to be studied in the Alternatives Analysis.
Based on feedback from these meetings, Metro has identified some potential
alignments and station locations for more detailed technical analysis.



For more information visit: Metro

Hope to see you there!

Dave Says....

BLOG MORE!

Magdalena Sabado

From the Pastor:

Dear Friends in Christ,

I am sad to tell you that Magdalena Sabado passed away last night. Jesse called me this morning with the news. The funeral arragements have not yet been made; we will inform you as soon as we have any information.

I know you have been keeping the Sabados in your prayers; we will all miss her very much.

In Christ,
Pastor Sandie


From First Thessalonians, Chapter 4:

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died... Therefore encourage one another with these words.

5,000

Today my website hit 5,000 page views. Pretty good I think. I'm pretty sure it hasn't been me just refreshing my site.