Archive for December, 2016

  • An open letter to Prescott

    Dec 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    Over the last year or so, the Prescott City Council has considered adding fees to have a library card and to access the Prescott Public Library. Hours have been reduced – not significantly yet – but the decision to close on Sundays means an estimated 800-900 people don’t have access to the library at all. This may be the working mom who’s trying to take a class online or the student who needs the internet to complete a class project but whose family can’t afford home internet access, or someone looking for some respite by delving through the catalog of books. When Prescott City Councilmembers began suggesting that the library was not a “need,” and that if you wanted to use the library that perhaps you should pay for it, I became disappointed and distressed. So, I had 10,000 postcards printed to be delivered to City Council as they began the process of creating next year’s budget. This conversation was largely in part due to budget cuts and the city’s PSPRS (Public Safety Personnel Retirement System) liability. The city has two choices: increase revenue to pay down the debt or cut non-vital services. I feel the library is a vital city service. The concept and program are simple. Simply pick up a card, write a personal message on it, and we’ll deliver your thoughts on the Prescott Public Library to

  • A simple query: When is it better not to leave well enough alone?

    Dec 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's PerceivingsNo CommentsRead More »

    The author in a Tuareg headdress. Courtesy photo. By Alan Dean Foster In this case, the answer is chocolate. Come to think of it, that’s not a bad answer for any question. What do you feel like doing today? Chocolate. Is there anything I can do for you? Chocolate. What do you think of Trump’s latest cabinet appointment? Chocolate. Just saying the word puts a smile on the face of most folks. Unless, alas, they happen to be allergic to the stuff. But for the rest of us, simply the mention of CHOCOLATE! conjures up a feeling of joyful expectation. Hearing the word brings forth remembrances of the taste, the silkiness, the sweet charge of energy and contentment as it melts in your mouth that … Excuse me a moment. Time for a quick trip to the pantry. There (*sigh*). That’s better. You won’t mind if I nibble a little while I pontificate, will you? When I was growing up, chocolate was, like so much else in life (especially pre-puberty), simple. There was Hershey’s, and for the youthful connoisseur, Nestlé’s, both simple milk chocolate loaded with sugar. That was it. If you wished to dally in exotics, you got Hershey’s with almonds, or Nestlé’s Crunch. I gravitated toward Crunch because it was made with crisped rice and I could, on occasion, fool myself into thinking that I was actually eating

  • News from the Wilds: January 2017

    Dec 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the WildsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris January in the Mogollon Highlands is when the long quiet of winter reaches its coldest and snowiest, as storms bluster and howl, pushing plants and animals to the limits of their endurance. The frigid days, however, are often interspersed with sunny, cold days that skitter with bursts of bird and mammal activity. Every plant and animal has a set of strategies for making it through this time of scant resources and dangerous temperatures —pregnant female Black Bears hibernate in underground dens; Bobcats, Coyotes, and deer grow thicker coats and subtly re-route blood flow away from their skin and extremities; and ground squirrels, chipmunks, and Beavers settle into the well-stocked dens that they’ve been provisioning for months. Insects and herbaceous plants have evolved so that only their eggs and seeds overwinter, while trees decrease photosynthesis either by dropping leaves or by insulating them with thicker coatings and alter their chemistry by increasing lipid content and membrane permeability to decrease risk of frost and freeze damage. In many cases these adaptations, both physiological and behavioral, are remarkably complex. But the glimmers of the coming spring continue as well. Some animals are “planting their seeds” for the coming year, including the Black Bears and River Otters, both of whom give birth this month. Many of our wind-pollinated trees are in flower, during this time when the broad leaves of deciduous

  • The sweet fruit of the dead: A consideration of life after death before birth

    Dec 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Myth & MindNo CommentsRead More »

    By Reva Sherrard The girl was called Kore, “maiden,” and Neotera, “younger.” She was full to bursting with youth, life, and beauty, and all adored her. One day the ground yawned under her feet, and Hades, lord of the dead, carried Kore down from the fields of grain and poppies to his realm deep within the earth. Without the maiden, seeds did not sprout, buds withered before they could turn to fruits or flowers, and crops died in the fields. There could be no new life, no food. Only age and wintry barrenness were on the grieving earth. Under the earth, grapes and persimmons, apples and pomegranates throve, perfumed and plump. Kore was hungry but dared not eat, for to eat the fruit of the realm of the dead would bind her to it. A beautiful pomegranate in Hades’ garden caught her eye. Its rind flushed like a dancer’s cheeks, and it swelled as tautly round as a belly about to give birth, so rich with ripe life it seemed to sing to her. Such a fruit could do her no harm. She reached out and plucked it, and hesitated, feeling its weight in her palm. Then with her nails she tore through the thick skin and bit a mouthful of slippery crimson seeds. Nothing in all the world was ever so sweet, so fulfilling, so good. The blood-red juice

  • Prescott Peeps: Brad Newman

    Dec 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Prescott PeepsNo CommentsRead More »

    Who are you and how long have you been in the community? I’m Brad Newman. I was working on ranches and summer camps in Prescott since 1968 and I went to Yavapai College the year it opened in 1970. I was raised in Arizona — in fact, we’ve got home movies of us at the Fourth of July parade from 1959. We love Prescott. After attending Brophy Prep in Phoenix, I went to the University of Arizona, then came back to Prescott to work at Yavapai Exceptional Industries in 1976. I found out about the job on a one-page mimeographed sheet on a board at U of A. I was studying for a degree in disability rehabilitation and had no idea what I was going to do with it, so this made a lot of sense. I’d had experience with kids with disabilities at summer camp at Mingus Mountain, so working with adults made sense. I wasn’t sure where I was going or what I wanted to do do and boom, there was this ad in my favorite place. What exactly is YEI? Yavapai Exceptional Industries was founded in Prescott in 1974 by parents, teachers, and business leaders. It’s very Prescott in its roots. These folks, especially the parents, were looking for an alternative to institutionalizing their adult children with disabilities. They saw the institutions that were in place and

  • Get Involved: The Launch Pad Teen Center & Prescott Astronomy Club

    Dec 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Get InvolvedNo CommentsRead More »

      Get Involved: The Launch Pad Teen Center Who are you and what do you do? I’m Courtney Osterfelt, and I’m the executive director of The Launch Pad Teen Center. We’re a nonprofit youth- and teen-directed center. That means that the teens, mainly 13- to 18-year-olds, who come to The Launch Pad decide what programs and events we do. The center is open 3-6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and teens can come in, do homework, make friends, create art, play games, or make other things happen. We also give grants to teens who want to make changes in the community. We have things like Pin Parties. Basically, they take an art project they want to do from Pinterest, and we provide the art supplies to do it. There are usually 15 to 20 teens. We also have groups like the Q Collective, which includes LGBTQ youth and meets weekly and has social gatherings about once a month. We also have concerts. The music ranges from punk shows to heavy metal and everything in between. Usually attendance for those draws 70 to 100 teens. There’s a suggested donation of $5, and the door fee is split among the bands, so it’s also an opportunity for teen bands to get paid. We also have an internship program and a leadership program, and all of that is free. We also have two summer

  • Plant of the Month: Conifers

    Dec 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Plant of the MonthNo CommentsRead More »

    By Nichole Trushell Like animals, plants prepare for winter. Shortening day-length triggers hormone and cellular changes. Signs of this, such as fall color and leaf drop in our deciduous cottonwood, gambel oak, and three-leaf sumacs, are obvious and lovely. But how do evergreens survive? Our Highlands conifers (cone bearers) like juniper and pine have needles or tiny scale leaves. We see them as evergreen, but they actually lose and replace leaves slowly throughout the year. Remarkably, these plants can photosynthesize during all seasons. Photosynthesis in winter is a risk — it requires water. Conifers face freezing damage to cells and must resolve water movement through their vascular systems when temperatures fall below freezing. The strategies are elegant. With their tiny but numerous evergreen leaves, conifers have an enormous surface area which collectively can bring in a lot of sunlight, even in winter. Leaves have a waxy coating of cutin which acts as insulation to both water loss and cold, and they have the ability to close their stomates (leaf pores) tightly to reduce water loss during inclement weather. Unlike animals, plants also have sturdy cell walls that prevent splitting when ice crystals form inside the cells, and the sap does not freeze easily. The antifreeze-like sap and the waxy coating on the needles help, but in extremes, the water in the ground and plant may freeze. Water movement in plants

  • Bird of the Month: Sandhill Crane

    By Corinne Shaw As new birders, we joined the Prescott Audubon Society to enhance our birding knowledge. To experience a new birding adventure, we traveled to the Bosque del Apache NWR in New Mexico for the Sandhill Crane Festival. To support the many migrating birds, including the Sandhill Cranes, the Bosque del Apache NWR and local farmers carefully plant and harvest crane-friendly food sources. As the weather turns cold in Colorado, the cranes travel through New Mexico, to the delight of thousands of birders. During the day, the cranes feed in the fields in the area. The cranes may number in the thousands, but they will not be seen in large numbers in the Refuge during the day. As dusk approaches, the cranes start to fly into the local ponds and the large ponds of the Bosque. You can hear the cranes calling for miles; they have a wonderful night-time call. Crane groups can range from only a few to as many as 20 in magnificent “Y” formations. As a photographer, the sight of a flock of Sandhill Cranes is a beautiful must-have picture. Sandhill Cranes roost in shallow ponds. The water provides good protection; a coyote’s splashing approach, would result in alarms awakening the entire flock. Not long after sunrise, lift-off activities begin. Sandhill Cranes prefer not to fly from the water, they make their way to the shore

  • Taking STEPS: Children have brush with art at the ‘Tis Annex, show at gallery

    Dec 30, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and STEPS program art educator and artist Sue Lutz and ‘Tis maven Patti Ortiz. The STEPS Art Education Program for Children exhibit is Jan. 2-14 in the mezzanine gallery at ‘Tis Art Center & Gallery, 105 S. Cortez St., 928-775-0223. The artists reception is 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7.] This is supposed to start with me asking you what the STEPS program is. Why don’t you share one of the projects first and we’ll dovetail into that? Lutz: One of the things each student did in this class was a self-portrait that they cut out and put together to make a mural. That class was a mix of painting and drawing with a twist of history, for example famous artists. I also introduced them to different media. There’s some water color, crayons, pastels, paint, and marker. Even the little kids can do all of that. I also introduced them to famous buildings around the world, so they got architecture, too. Ortiz: You have to tell him about your song! Lutz: Well, there are five basic elements of art that I teach them and it has this song. … [Editor’s Note: A song and dance go here. Ask Lutz; it’s quite a show.] The little ones really love that. Anyway, it gets them moving and teaches

  • Diagnosis, Technology: January 2017

    By Paolo Chlebecek x ***** Paolo Chlebecek is founder and owner of PaoloTek, which he started in 2003. He loves to be helpful to people and our animal friends. Feel free to contact him at Paolo@PaoloTek.Com

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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