May 23, 2013
Recently Disney, which seems hell-bent on becoming some sort of cultural Monsanto, had to backpedal on a couple issues after some very understandable public outcry.
In one case, Princess Merida, the fiery warrior-tomboy from “Brave” was Stepford Wived into the stock Disney princess mold – she got a sexed-up makeover that utterly ignored the entire personality of the character.
Columnists noted that other Disney princesses, like Belle and Ariel, have also been sexed up over the years. So Princess Leia had better dust off her slave outfit.
Outcry ensued, with feminists and plenty of other people noting that maybe it would be nice to have just one princess who doesn’t look like a runway model and that maybe little girls should be taught that things other than beauty matter. And other people, including myself, just felt that maybe little girls, for just a few years of their lives, can have toys that are not fixated on cleavage and high heels. So it was perhaps even a rare alliance between feminism and more benign strains of fatherly-protection.
Now, Princess Merida would have every right to decide she wants to comb her hair a bit and put on a dress for her “coronation” into the princess pantheon, but in this case it was so exactly the opposite of the character in question, that you’d think Disney would have avoided running her through their princess cookie-cutter machine.
Disney backed down, but perhaps a greater atrocity was committed when the company attempted to trademark Day of the Dead, a holiday celebrated in Mexico, Latin America and the United States. It’s kind of a big deal.
As a side note, I’ve recently interviewed several Mexican Americans about their music and other hobbies. In the case of all three recent interviews, the hobby had a very strong tie-in with a beloved, deceased loved one. For example, a drummer began performing with his church in memory of his sister, and he has a photo of her on his drum set. These individuals found a tangible way to honor someone, and they didn’t repress their sadness and/or become overwhelmed by it, which many of us do. So I submit that a culture that offers a “Day of the Dead” provides its members with a very healthy way of mourning loved ones who have passed away.
Anyhow, there was outrage over Disney allegedly attempting to steal Day of the Dead, and Mickey and his lawyers backed down.
I’m absolutely certain that Disney will recover from these two public black eyes, but the cases are more interesting on a macro level. You are never going to make everyone happy, and no matter what choice Disney makes with its product, it is probably going to get a petition from someone.
Still, stealing cultural holidays honoring deceased loved ones and brainwashing iconoclastic princesses seem like decisions that- Monday morning quarterback here- might not be good ones. I think the point is that corporations are going to have to learn to adapt more quickly – what worked last year may not be seen as socially acceptable right now.
Score two for the little guys…and girls.
May 23, 2013
The City of Carlsbad Public Works offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2013 in observance of Memorial Day.
There will be regular refuse collection for the normal scheduled service on Monday.
Sandpoint Landfill will be open on a normal schedule of 7 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Convenience Station located at 302 E. Plaza will be open on a normal schedule of 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Office service will resume on Tuesday, May 28, 2013.
May 23, 2013
CARLSBAD – Memorial Day weekend kicks off the 84th anniversary of Carlsbad Caverns National Park’s summer Bat Watch Program. Park rangers have presented summertime bat flight programs since 1929 and as a result, Carlsbad Caverns National Park has one of the best-known bat colonies in the world.
Nightly, half hour programs begin at sunset as rangers dispel myths and extol the virtues of bats. Thousands of visitors have learned about these nocturnal creatures as they watch them spiral out of the cavern on their nightly forage for insects.
Bats are one of the best natural predators for controlling insects because they eats millions of them every night, providing a natural pest management service that is harmless to humans but offers an integral environmental benefit.
The nightly number of bats fluctuates naturally for a variety of reasons throughout the season. Temperature and weather are the biggest factors in the fluctuation in population, although lack of rain reduces insect populations, which in turn affects availability of insects for bats to consume. Bats will split into smaller colonies during dry years in order to ensure enough resources for survival.
Park visitors are reminded that, during bat flight events, the use of all cameras, including cell phones and video cameras, is strictly prohibited while bats are exiting the cavern. Bat researchers from around the world have documented the disturbance caused to bats by lights, including the light from flash cameras. In addition, the sounds from electronic devices may interfere with the bat’s echolocation abilities and disorient them during their flight.
May 23, 2013
NMRC is pleased to announce that we have developed a guide specifically addressing the options available to creating local uses of glass in our communities. It is possible to make glass valuable within our communities!
With limited glass markets in our state and the public demand for the recycling of this material, NMRC has compiled information based on other efforts as well as providing 4 case studies on communities within New Mexico that are collecting, crushing and locally using this material themselves.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised that there are many options to turn glass into road base, as an aggregate supplement, in addition to drainage and pipe laying projects and many other valuable, practical local public works, cement and roads projects.
To download the guide and view links to further resources, please visit http://www.recyclenewmexico.com/glass.htm
This resource was developed through the generous support of NMRC’s sponsors: http://www.recyclenewmexico.com/Sponsors_2013.htm
Lockdown Combat Grappling to host Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Seminar by 2nd Degree Black Belt Randy “La-Su” RogersMay 20, 2013
Second-degree black belt Randy “La-Su” Rogers will instruct area grapplers in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu during a seminar at Lockdown Combat Grappling from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 25.
Rogers is a second-degree black belt under Brazilian Jiu Jitsu eighth-degree black belt Carlos Machado. Rogers is the head instructor at La-Su Rogers Jiu Jitsu and the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor for Judgement MMA in Rio Rancho, NM.
The seminar is free to area grappling students. Participants in the seminar must RSVP at 575-706-0141 or 575-499-9732. The public is invited to watch the event and learn more about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo.
Lockdown Combat Grappling is a La-Su Rogers Jiu Jitsu affiliate school. Lockdown Combat Grappling provides certified and ranked instruction in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo for children and adults with classes occurring five days a week.
Lockdown Combat Grappling is located at 1410 N. Canal St. For more information, contact James Lloyd at 575-706-0141 or Jason Montoya at 575-499-9732.
May 15, 2013
0-GAUGE MODEL RAILROAD EXHIBIT
DEPICTING THE CARLSBAD AREA OF THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY
Visit with Museum Staff & Volunteers
to find out how you can help!
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Carlsbad Museum & Art Center
May 15, 2013
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján announced today that the necessary Senate and House committees have approved a reprogramming request for an additional $19 million needed to assist in maintaining the ongoing cleanup and environmental management efforts at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The news comes just days after the New Mexico lawmakers sent a letter to the committees urging their approval of the request made by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the White House for the critical funding.
“Congress’ quick approval of the $19 million we’ve been pushing for is welcome news to prevent layoffs and ensure the stability of critical nuclear waste cleanup efforts underway at LANL,” said Sen. Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Getting funds reprogrammed is no easy task — especially with the sequester taking a toll across the nation — so I’m proud we have made progress in getting LANL the resources they need to meet legal obligations and safely dispose of the waste. The White House and Department of Energy have been very responsive to our efforts and I will continue doing everything I can to secure additional funds to get the job done.”
“I’m pleased that Los Alamos National Laboratory will receive sufficient funding this year to prevent layoffs and continue ongoing defense legacy waste cleanup efforts–an important commitment the Department of Energy has made to the people of New Mexico,” said Sen. Heinrich, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “LANL must have sufficient resources to help ensure all planned restoration and protection efforts remain on schedule and critical milestones are met. I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve made, and will continue to advocate for waste cleanup to remain a top funding priority for the Department of Energy.”
“Shifting these critical funds from other areas in the Department of Energy to environmental cleanup at LANL is an important step forward to meet the government’s commitment to remove waste from the lab,” said Rep. Luján, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “I am pleased that our efforts to encourage the committees to act quickly will guarantee these vital funds and ensure environmental cleanup at LANL continues. As we have seen from the Las Conchas fire, removing this waste is not only the right thing to do for the environment, but is a matter of safety for the community.”
Following the Las Conchas fire in June 2011, DOE and the State of New Mexico made a framework agreement to expedite the removal and off-site shipment of high-risk combustible and dispersible transuranic (TRU) waste currently stored above ground at LANL. Under the new agreement, DOE committed to remove the 3,706 cubic meters of above ground TRU waste by June 30, 2014.
To ensure critical deadlines are met, the Obama Administration requested $239 million for LANL cleanup in the fiscal year 2013 budget. However, a continuing budget resolution froze the cleanup funding level at $189 million and sequestration cuts further reduced that figure to $173 million. Reprogramming actions allow federal agencies to shift funds between accounts during a fiscal year but must be approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget and Congressional Committees with jurisdiction.
On April 3, 2013, Udall, Heinrich and Luján wrote to DOE Secretary Steven Chu requesting an additional $50 million be made available to LANL to ensure all priority cleanup efforts stay on schedule. According to LANL, at least $15 million is needed to prevent an interruption in the transuranic cleanup operations.The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is considering a further $21 million contribution to LANL cleanup efforts for 2013.
Udall pushed for the additional funds in a recent phone call with White House Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Jeffery Zientz. He also emphasized to Acting NNSA Administrator Neile Miller at a recent Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee hearing that there is a lack of sufficient funding for important cleanup programs at LANL, which are crucial to maintaining strong community support for the lab.
During the Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on April 18, 2013, to consider the president’s proposed budget for the Department of Energy for fiscal year 2014, Heinrich sought assurance from DOE’s Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Daniel Poneman that waste cleanup efforts at Los Alamos National Laboratory would receive sufficient funding this year. Heinrich also discussed his ongoing effort to ensure all priority cleanup efforts at LANL stay on schedule with Energy Secretary nominee Dr. Ernest Moniz during his confirmation hearing on April 9, 2013.
As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Luján and his office have been in close contact with the White House, Department of Energy, and Office of Management and Budget, encouraging swift action to prioritize environmental cleanup at LANL and make additional funds available that meet the government’s commitment to remove waste from the lab.
May 15, 2013
Here’s the team