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By Special to the Monitor

Going green

Earth Day 2008, which was organized by Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) and took place April 22 and the weekend of April 26-27, was an outstanding success due to the efforts of a large number of volunteers and the support of many sponsors. This letter is to thank all of these volunteers and sponsors and those who attended one of our events this year.

No volunteers gave more of their time than the members of the Earth Day Committee, which began meeting and planning in January. The PEEC members of this committee were Michele Altherr (Fundraising Chair), Becky Shankland, Selvi Viswanathan and Nuria Clodius. We want to thank, in particular, two non-PEEC committee members Ardyth Simmons, who represented Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Mark Jones, who represented the Sierra Club. Ardyth and Mark brought valuable new ideas and expertise to our planning process. David Griggs of Los Alamos Sustainable Energy (LASE) Network also provided valuable advise to our committee.

The themes and activities of Earth Day 2008 were published in an attractive supplement to the Los Alamos Monitor April 20. We want to thank Jennifer Macke, our Earth Day Tabloid editor, for all her hard work in gathering and preparing this supplement for publication.

The Earth Day Festival April 26 went smoothly thanks to the contributions of many additional volunteers. Robert Gibson did a masterful job as master of ceremonies, and Cindy Talamantes organized a substantial Farmers Market presence. We also thank Wendy Swanson, Joseph Gallegos and Nora Arbuckle for help in staging the festival.

A significant source of Earth Day’s success was the support of our sponsors. Los Alamos National Laboratory co-sponsored the Earth Day talk April 22 and the Earth Day Festival. Los Alamos County recognized our event in an Earth Day proclamation and contributed use of the tables, chairs and PA system for the Festival. Los Alamos National Bank sponsored the festival performance of crowd-pleasing entertainment group Clan Tynker. Our other Earth Day sponsors were Los Alamos Public Utilities, Los Alamos MainStreet (LACDC), Atomic City Transit, All Aboard America, New Mexico Park and Ride, Premier Honda of Santa Fe, North Wind Inc., Portage Environmental Inc., Neptune and Company, and Terranear PMC. We also want to give a special thanks to Cook’n In Style for their support of PEEC and our Earth Day celebration.

By the way, attractive organic cotton T-shirts with all our sponsor logos are still for sale at our Nature Center at 3540 Orange St. (Check our web site PajaritoEEC.org for our hours of operation.)

Three volunteers led hikes on Earth Day weekend: Chick Keller led a flower identification hike, Chris Judson led a fire ecology hike and Stephen Fettig led a bird watching stroll. We thank these naturalists for sharing their time and expertise with us.

The Party for PEEC, an annual dinner and fundraiser for our Nature Center held in conjunction with Earth Day, took place April 27 at Central Avenue Grill. Michele Altherr did a tremendous job organizing this event, at which PEEC supporters socialized, had a wonderful meal, and bid on various auction items. We want to thank auctioneer Jill Cook who helped plan the party and contributed her services to the event, as well as all those who contributed auction items, especially Katy Korkos for her donation of a beautiful wildflower quilt.

Most importantly, we want to thank those who attended one of our Earth Day events. About 70 came to the Earth Day talk by Dr. James Conca on “The Geopolitics of Energy.” More than 100 socialized and dined at the Party for PEEC at the Central Avenue Grill; and we estimate that nearly 1,000 attended the Earth Day Festival at PEEC’s Nature Center. The large turnouts were truly gratifying and more than an ample reward for all our volunteer hours.


Peter ORourke

2008 PEEC Earth Day Chair

Gift fund contribution

We thank Los Alamos Medical Center for a generous contribution to the fund to add a children’s pool at the Aquatic Center. A children’s pool will have warmer, shallower water, so children can play and take lessons more easily, expanding the concepts of Warm Water Weekends. There will also be a section for adults who want to swim in warmer water.

The Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center Gift Fund was established in 1991 to provide support for lower-income citizens to use the aquatic center for lessons, exercise and recreation, to provide equipment that is not part of the normal operating budget, and to establish an endowment, the income from which may be used for special programs or projects.

Contributions toward the children’s pool project are kept in the Gift Fund and are not used for other projects.

We greatly appreciate LAMC’s generous support of the Aquatic Center.

Sincerely yours,

Fredrica E. Smith M.D.

for the Aquatic Center Advisory Subcommittee

Yearbooks for everyone

The Los Alamos Middle School YourBook Program was a big success. We received more than $500 in donations from anonymous donors, which funded more than 20 yearbooks for worthy LAMS students who could not afford one.

Donations came from individual community members as well as local businesses. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this program.


Suzette Williams Wingo

LAMS Yearbook