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SPOTLIGHT 311.JAN 29,2010:SPL 1/27/10 3:56 PM Page 1

Published by E.P. MASS MEDIA ADVERTISING INC. Vol. X No. 311 January 29th., 2010

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A New Year of Excellence By Dr. Xavier De La Torre, Socorro ISD Superintendent of Schools

As we begin

over 41,000 students – an increase of more than 1,200 students from a year ago, or the equivalent of enrollment for two elementary schools. As our District continues to grow, we as a community must commit to ensuring that our students’ and teachers’ needs are met both in our developing communities and in our existing schools.

2010, we do so with much enthusiasm for the continued growth and success of the Socorro ISD. The accomplishments of our students and staff have ushered in A New Era of Excellence in our District that will propel us into the next decade. This month, 16 of our campuses were recognized by the National Center for Educational Achievement (NCEA) as High Performing Schools under its 2009 Just for the Kids Campaign. These schools were identified because they exhibit outstanding performance that can be adopted by other schools to improve student academic success and college readiness. Only 19 percent of campuses statewide were recognized, and for 16 to be from the Socorro ISD demonstrates the

Dr. Xavier De La Torre level of commitment to students from schools throughout the District. As a direct result of the excellence of our students, staff and community partners, the Socorro ISD is the district of choice in the El Paso area. With the opening of two new schools this year, we now have 41 campuses and serve

To that end, we are excited that construction for the District’s fifth comprehensive high school and a new 9th grade academy is nearing completion. The new Eastlake High School and El Dorado 9th Grade Academy will open in August 2010 to help relieve overcrowding and prepare for the continued growth of El Paso’s East Side. Located at 13000 Emerald Pass, Eastlake High School will open as a small comprehensive high school serving students from Col. John O. Ensor Middle School and Desert Wind School. In addition, the campus will offer open enrollment to all students who wish to attend. The El Dorado 9th Grade Academy is located at 14400 Pebble Hills Blvd. and will serve as an extension to El Dorado High School. All of the school’s incoming freshman will attend the Academy for a year then continue at El Dorado High School for the remainder of their high school years.

To ease the transition and ensure strong teams are in place to receive students on the first day of school, we have hired principals for the new campuses who will begin preparing for the 2010-2011 school year immediately. Angelica Ramsey will serve as principal of Eastlake High School. She has been promoted from her previous position of assistant principal at Socorro High School and has been part of the SISD family since 2002. Troy Byrne will serve as principal of the El Dorado 9th Grade Academy. He most recently served as the Secondary Mathematics and Science Instructional Coordinator for Clint ISD and has a total of 19 years experience in education, including seven years as a secondary teacher in the Socorro ISD. In February, we will host community meetings to formally introduce our new administrators and present a full plan for the opening of these two new campuses. As always, I look forward to meeting and hearing directly from parents, students and other members of the community surrounding our efforts to provide the best possible resources for our students and staff to succeed. They deserve nothing less!

TAX HELP WITH EARNED INCOME TAX CREDITS WHAT: Assistance to military for Preparing Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) WHERE: Main PX, bldg 1611, Marshall Road, Fort Bliss WHEN: 9a.m. to 4p.m., Friday, January 29, 2010 WHO: The IRS and Fort Bliss Tax Center WHY: Last year, more than 2.2 million taxpayers claimed the EITC in Texas totaling more than $5.3 billion. Despite this huge sum of money, more is available. The IRS believes one in four eligible taxpayers FAIL TO CLAIM the credit. ADDITIONAL INFO: This year changes in the law mean more money for larger families. Families with three or more qualifying children can receive a maximum of $5,657. In addition, married couples filing a joint tax return can earn up to $48,279 and claim the credit if they have three or more Qualifying dependents. This top income threshold has increased from $41,646 last year with two qualifying dependents. January 29, 2010 is National EITC Day. There are hundreds of events being held this day across the United States.

Additional information at 568-6079

HOST AN EL PASO DIABLOS BASEBALL PLAYER EL PASO- For the average baseball fan, the fun ends with the third out in the ninth inning, but the experiences that are provided for host families extend much further. The opportunity to get to know a Diablos player on a personal level, while being able to grant them with a home away from home, will provide host families with memories that will last a lifetime. So, if you love baseball and the idea of sharing your home with a possible future professional baseball player, have we got an opportunity for you! With the start of the 2010 season just weeks away, the El Paso Diablos are getting geared up for another summer of fun and excitement. In addition to hosting several offseason events, including the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Yucca Council Boy Scout Expo, the Diablos have been active in and around the community as they make preparations for the upcoming season. The El Paso Diablos are bringing talented players from all over the world right here to the El Paso community. Help us by

being a part of a winning team by volunteering to be a host family. Our network of host families represent one of the most important and unique aspects of El Paso baseball. Our players enjoy the hospitality and generosity their host families provide them with over the summer. Host families typically provide players with their own room and give them access to a washer and a dryer. In addition to helping the El Paso Diablos, the host family gets a chance to build lasting relationships with our players. A Diablos Host Family Package includes two season tickets; there will also be several host family events that will be planned during the summer, which will give host families the opportunity to get to know your Diablos player and the rest of the organization on a personal level. If you have any questions regarding hosting an El Paso Diablos player, please contact Adriana Ruiz at

915-755-2000 ext. 124.

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Registering young Latinos to vote: The Time is Now By Joe Olvera (c) 2010

When the late William C. Velasquez first created the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project in 1974, he had only one vision – to work for a time when Latinos would play a vital part in the American Democratic Process. His mantra, which continues to this day, was “Su Voto Es Su Voz (Your Vote Is Your Voice).” Velasquez, who died an untimely death in 1988 of kidney cancer, had, by the time of his death, cultivated 50,000 community leaders throughout Texas, litigated successfully 85 voting rights law suits, and conducted 2,300 non-partisan voter registration drives. Latinos also went from counting 2.4 million registered Latino voters in 1974, to more than 7 million by 1998. And, the process continues. Reyes Mata, president of the project’s committee, is a young entrepreneur who wants to make drastic changes to El Paso’s artistic scene. Politically connected and involved, he too is looking forward to a time when Chicanos and other Latinos can become major players in SVREP’s goal of increasing voter par-

ticipation by Latinos, something that’s already happening judging by the number of newly registered young Latinos, and, youths registering to vote is what Velasquez truly envisioned. “We definitely need more Chicanos and other Latinos to become involved in our political process,” Mata said. “SVREP began its Million Dollar Youth Campaign on Cinco de Mayo in 2006. The goal was to register 100,000 sons and daughters of immigrants, seeking out youth who are U.S. citizens, eligible to vote, but, who haven’t yet registered. That number was surpassed, and contin-

ues to grow. This was evidenced by the large numbers of Latino youth who registered and voted for Barack Obama for President of the United States. SVREP President Antonio Gonzalez said in 2006 that registering Latino youth would create a substantial number of young voters that could, in time, carry elec-


tions. “The timing for this campaign (2006) will crystallize the momentum,” Gonzalez said in the organization’s website. “Participation by Latino youth in the marches and rallies for immigration reform demonstrates how prepared they are to political change.” The multi-phase, multi-media campaign will try to capture their imagination because there are about 2.3 million young men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 who are U.S. citizens and ready to vote. At least one million American citizens who are eligible to vote turn 18 each year. This number alone makes it very important that these

youths become involved in the political process. This group alone can impact elections in a very strong manner. Priscilla Portillo, who is the SVREP Team Coordinator in El Paso, was not available for comment, but, she has said in the past that her goal is to register as many young Latinos as is possible. In El Paso, the task becomes even harder because there is very little tradition for voting and voting rights.

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150 lonely singles looking for love, romance and companionship all in one place! If you are one of the hundreds of bachelors or bachelorettes that dread the loneliness of Valentines Day come visit with 150 singles who are looking for a lifetime of love and companionship!

The Humane Society of El Paso has a variety of single dogs and cats to suit every human personality and household. Won’t you consider making one of them your Valentine this year? “Our singles are sexy, cute, playful, full of energy and devout loyalty. They come in all sizes, shapes and ages. Better yet, they won’t judge you, try to control you, talk back to you, cheat on you or tell you what to do. Each one will provide you with unconditional love for the rest of your life,” said Betty Hoover, Executive Director of the Humane Society of El Paso. “All singles will be spayed or neutered so they won’t have to worry about sniffs, kisses, ear nibbling, snuggling, cud-

dling and forepaw play leading to unintended pregnancies. One of our professionally trained match

All adult singles are available for just $60.00 and each comes spayed or neutered, vaccinated, microchipped,

come a member of the No More Lonely Hearts Lovers Club. So, visit the Humane Society of El Paso at 4991 Fred Wilson Ave. from Wednesday, February 10 through Sunday,

February 14, to take advantage of the special Valentine’s Day singles match up and give these lonely hearts (and yours) love and companionship for life.

seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday and 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information call

532-6971. The Humane Society is open

The Lottery Blunder Spotlight News makers can help you find a single that suits your personality and lifestyle.”

and licensed. For an additional $2.00 donation you can have your picture taken with your chosen single and be-

Recently an Associated Press article in the El Paso Times reported that a consulting company hired by the Lottery Commission apparently was also working for GTECH, the company that currently manages the lottery. The Commission hired Gartner Inc. as an independent consultant to assist in writing the rules under which bids are requested and processed. During the time that Gartner was working for the Commission, it also signed a contract to work for GTECH. Although the contract has a specific date, it is impossible to know how closely Gartner and GTECH were previously working together without a formal contract on lottery issues. Certainly, other companies who submitted bids see a problem. During committee hearings in the past legislative session (House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures), as a member I questioned why GTECH seemed to be

consistently the bid winner. Other states have contracted with companies other than GTECH and I just thought that somewhere along the line the state would have been better served by trying one of those companies. In response to media inquiries, GTECH, Gartner and the Commission all stated that it was their opinion that the bid process was not compromised. The bids that were submitted for the estimated $100 million annual revenues should be allowed to be continued according to those three entities. It is easy to assume that most people who read that story and are reading this submission will automatically think the fix was on. No matter how many denials or statements minimizing the incident, the bidding process that started on January 4th is tainted with an appearance of wrong doing. Shortly after reading the article, I wrote a letter to the principals explaining my feeling that the dual role played by Gartner was reason enough to scrap the current bidding process. I insisted that the process start again from the very beginning with additional safeguards in place to prevent a repetition of the conflict of interest. Since our commit-

tee is scheduled to meet soon for interim hearings, I also requested that the Chair of the Committee, the Honorable Edmund Kuempel, place on the agenda an item for us to hear testimony from the Lottery Commission, GTECH and Gartner. The public needs to hear their accounts of the incident under sworn testimony. I sincerely feel that it is imperative to start over and to have hearings in order to safeguard the confidence that taxpayers have in the state bidding process. Even if the dual role was actually a mistake, we need to address this as if there were intentional efforts to undermine a fair process. If we don’t, taxpayers will always have a question in their mind about the Lottery Commission bid requests. The impression of wrongdoing will also discourage other companies from bidding. This could potentially be very costly to the state. It is the responsibility of agency executives and elected officials, that being me, to safeguard your money which is sent to Austin from improper bid awards; or even the appearance of impropriety.

Chente Quintanilla State Representative

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What! There’s a National Weatherman’s Day? By: “Doppler” Dave Speelman

If the groundhog can get its own day, why can’t the weather people? Every February 5th is National Weatherman’s Day which honors weatherman and women who work hard to try and accurately predict the often fickle weather. Despite a major technological advances and supercomputers, forecasting the weather is still a tricky and ever changing business. Knowing the weather is important in many ways. It affects how we dress, where we go and even in we go. Space launches are made or delayed depending upon the weather. And, knowing the weather can save lives. The most obvious example is knowing when and where hurricanes or tornadoes may hit. According to the Air Force News, Weatherman’s Day commemorates the birth of John Jeffries, one of American’s first weathermen. Jeffries was born on February 5, 1745. He kept weather records from 1774 to 1816. It’s also documented that Jeffries flew in a balloon across the English Channel in 1785. Some argue he was the first American to fly. Since flying and meteorology are intertwined this could very well lead to a full investigation of the nature and properties of the atmosphere. But Jeffries was more than a weather observer or weatherman, he was a Boston physician as well. So, February 5th is a big day for us weather people. Give us some slack for at least a day.

“Doppler" Dave Speelman is the chief meteorologist at KVIA-TV in El Paso. You can watch his forecasts at 4, 5, 6 and 10 pm on ABC-7 (channel 6 cable). If you would like Doppler Dave to address (explain) any weather issues you can email him at

Wheater Trivia: Willard Scott is the former weekday weatherman for the NBC “The Today Show.” He also is the creator of what famous character(s)? A. Pillsbury Dough Boy B. Ronald McDonald

C. Mickey Mouse D. The Muppets

Answer: B – Ronald McDonald. Willard Scott created the "Ronald McDonald" character for two businessmen who had the DC area McDonald's Drive-in Restaurant franchise. The McDonald's Corporation eventually hired a different actor for the national commercials.

Origin of National Weatherman’s Day: While we know why this day was created, we don’t know who initiated it or when. I found no documentation in congressional records to confirm that this is a truly national day. If you have any information about this holiday, please email me.

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Pastor Tom Brown spews hatred against people who are gay By Joe Olvera©, 2010 Pastor Tom Brown must be jumping up and down for joy. You see, in Kampala, Uganda, legislation is being introduced that would allow the killing of homosexuals simply because they are homosexuals. Not only that, but their families could suffer as well, with seven years of jail for harboring their children who might well be gay. Even landlords could be arrested for renting to gay people. Is that what you’re looking for Pastor Brown? Is that what you’re seeking in your holier-than-thou attitude towards homosexuals, what with your smiling face pasted all over the media? Where is your compassion, Pastor Brown? Where is your purported love for all humanity? Oh, I get it. It’s there for everyone, except gays? If you recall, Brown, and others of his ilk, are adamant about not allowing the extension of health insurance coverage to unmarried and same-sex partners of municipal employees. This, despite City Council members who, in their caring-about-all-people wisdom, are pushing for health coverage for non-traditional marriages. To me, this is only natural. After all, we all need health insurance and health care at one time or another. The same holds true for everybody, not just straights. Why shouldn’t the El Paso City Council, of whom I am proud for its stance on this humanitarian issue, make such protection available? Despite Carl Robinson’s refusal to agree with the majority of Council, the group went ahead and will allow gay city employees to provide health care for their loved ones. And, so what’s wrong with that? Oh, but Pastor Brown doesn’t like that, you see. He wants to place the issue on a ballot that will allow voters to decide. He’s not giving up in his quest to keep gay people out of the mainstream. He’s found his issue, his holy grail, and he’s not letting go. After all, it has gained him beaucoup publicity, and, he likes that, doesn’t he? So, what does it matter if a couple consists of a man marrying another man, or a woman marrying another woman? Why should same-sex couples disturb the Pastor Brown so much? Has he always been the paragon of virtue which he considers himself? Does he not have any skeletons in his closet, as so many other gay bashers do? You’ve all heard of one prominent man or another who has cried out vehemently against gay people, only to, later, be uncovered doing the very same thing which he abhors. Believe me, there’s a long list of hypocrites who purport to be holy, but, who are not. Gay people have as much right to protections under the law as we all have. They also have the right to universal health care, they have the right to marry someone of the same sex – after all, gay marriage is becoming legal all over these great United States of America. The doors have been thrown wide open now for people to live alternative life styles, and, I ask, what’s wrong with that? Religion says no? That’s so hypocritical – what with pederast priests, and other religious men, abusing young children sexually, or harboring secret sexual thoughts that sometimes aren’t so secret, at least, not after they are found out and discovered. So, why the hypocrisy? I don’t understand, however. What in the hell is a traditional marriage? Let me ask a question of all religious people who don’t want gays to have the same rights and privileges as straights – Was Jesus Christ married? Sin Fin

How To Trick Yourself Into a

Big Savings Account

Mary Hunt

Now and then, a great reader tip washes up on my desk that causes me to wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?" It makes so much sense: Think of your paycheck as 100 percent savings. Then, as you must, transfer into your checking account only the amount you need to cover your essential expenses. Emotionally, for most of us, it's a lot harder to spend money once it's been saved. Read on. I hope you agree; this tip deserves the Tip of the Month award.

TIP OF THE MONTH. I believe that people have a hard time saving money because they deposit their paychecks into their checking accounts. I don't

know anyone who puts his/her paycheck into his/her savings account except me. I currently have about $27,000 in my account. When I need to write checks to pay bills, I transfer the amount of money required to cover them into my checking account. Doing it this way forces me to save money each month. I have read a couple of your books and have found

them very informative. I look forward to reading more money-saving tips in "Everyday Cheapskate." — Shannon P., Ohio

MANY POCKETS. I have a trick to keep track of mittens, gloves and other small items of winter gear. I attach an over-the-door plastic pocket organizer (shoe bags available in home stores, such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Home Depot) to a handy closet door near my entryway. No one has to search for that one missing glove or mitten because everything is stored in the handy pockets. I even label each pocket with names and items. — Nell W., Iowa

PAID TO WAIT. I saw bra clips advertised on TV for $19.99. I was very tempted to

purchase them because they are such a good idea, but I didn't. A few days later, I was looking in the dollar store and found the same product for $1. Thanks for "Everyday Cheapskate"! — Vikki, e-mail

HARDENED SOAP. Anyone who has problems grating Fels-Naptha soap when making laundry detergent should remove the wrapper and allow the soap to sit for a few days to dry out. That makes the grating process much easier. It's what I do, and it works great. — Sally P., Pennsylvania

CAKE STAKE. I found that whenever I put icing on a two-layer cake, the top layer slides around. Here's my solution: I put icing on top of the bottom layer, and then I set the top layer on. Then I push my cake tester (a wooden skewer works well) through both layers. This holds the cake in place until I'm finished icing it. — Pat M., Maryland

AIN'T PRETTY. I have two huge sliding glass doors in my home that seem to allow the cold air to pour in during the winter months. The doors don't leak; it's just colder by the doors. To save on heating costs, I stand a piece of insulation board that's 2 inches thick in front of each door. It may not look great (I remove them when company is coming), but it is amazing how much warmer the room is. — Linda N., Michigan Would you like to send a tip to Mary? You can e-mail her at, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. Include your first and last name and state. Mary Hunt is the founder of and author of 18 books, including "DebtProof Living" and "Tiptionary 2." COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM

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Sharon Mosley


f you've never

worn jeans, then this is the year to make a new resolution: Find a pair of these "doit-all" fashion staples and give them your own signature style. Forget your age. Forget your size. There's a jean for everyone and practically every occasion. OK ‌ maybe we won't see them at the Golden Globe Awards, but these days you never know.

Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind when wearing denim this year: -- Do buy jeans that fit. The stiff denim jeans are a thing of the past. With new stretch fabric innovations, there's a pair of jeans to fit even the curviest of figures. You may have to try on several different sizes in different labels, but don't give up. There is the perfect pair out there. Ask for help from a knowledgeable salesperson. Then when you do find a brand you like, stock up!

-- Don't get stuck wearing the infamous "Mom" jeans. You can win the battle of the bulge

without sacrificing style and without spilling out of the top of your jeans into the dreaded "muffin top," which has plagued many women for years. Look for jeans with waistlines that hit right below the bellybutton for the most flattering silhouette.

-- Do consider cut. The skinny jean is still a big fashion trend, but a boot cut is usually more flattering for most body types. And if you do have larger thighs, a trouser style may be your best bet.

-- Don't stick to just one style. Try to incorporate a variety of silhouettes into your wardrobe. You may have one favorite, but jeans can be your best friend when it comes to building a basic wardrobe. This spring, cropped denim is a big trend for the warmer months ahead.

-- Do think about shoes. The right shoes or boots can make or break a pair of jeans. Generally speaking, your jeans should cover the heels of your shoes and hit right on top of the front of your shoe. If you need to get them hemmed (and many of us do), have them altered to match the original hem stitching. You will probably find that you will wear different lengths with different shoes -- I have

a special pair for flats and another pair for heels.

-- Do dress your jeans up. Jeans are one of the most versatile basics you can have in your wardrobe. When buying them, think about your lifestyle and buy accordingly: a dressier pair for the office; a more casual pair for the weekends. Darker washes are preferable for dressier occasions and for work.

-- Don't go baggy. There's nothing worse than a slouchy pair of jeans that hang off your body. You may have broken them in years ago, and they're the softest things in your closet. But it's time to get rid of them. Stick to wearing jeans that are sleeker and chicer! You don't have to go tight, but you do need to remember to buy jeans that fit and may even be a little small for you, since most jeans have a tendency to stretch as you wear them.

-- Do get creative. Jeans are the perfect "base" for adding some oomph to your fashion outlook. Experiment with different "trends" and revamp your whole wardrobe. Tuck your skinny jeans into knee-high boots, or jazz up your cropped denims with a pair of strappy sandals. The more creative you get, the more you'll see how you couldn't imagine

These skinny jeans from the spring Converse One Star collection at Target are the perfect "base" for revamping your wardrobe. Photo courtesy of

life without your favorite pair of jeans. Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM

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DEAR ABBY by Abigail Van Buren

Sustainable Living

CASH-STRAPPED PARENTS REGRET DEATHBED PROMISE MADE TO SON DEAR ABBY: My 31-yearold son, "Joey," who needs a heart transplant, almost died a few weeks ago. The doctors told us he wouldn't make it through the weekend. I was beside myself. On what we thought was his deathbed, I told Joey I would give him anything he wanted if he pulled through. He wanted a very expensive sports car. Well, my son pulled through, but has other physical challenges. My husband and I are sending him $500 a month until he starts receiving money from Social Security. It's the best we can do right now. The problem is, Joey keeps hounding me about the sports car. I cannot afford this gift. We have offered to have his current vehicle reconditioned or give him my yearold car with its very low mileage. I do not want this to become an issue with my son. I have told him his heart condition is the priority and to let everything else fall into place. It's eating me alive that I can't give my son what I promised. On the other hand, his request is unreasonable. Please help. -- JOEY'S MOM IN LAS CRUCES

DEAR MOM: Unless you put a stop to it now, this WILL become an issue with your son. Surely he is in touch enough with reality that he knows your financial situation -- and if he doesn't, please inform him. While you're at it, explain that when you thought he was on his deathbed, you were out of your mind with grief -- and you can't be held to a promise

made under such duress. At $500 a month, you can hardly be accused of being a withholding parent, so stop beating yourself up. ** DEAR ABBY: My 21-year-old daughter, "Crystal," has been engaged to her boyfriend,

Dear Abby "Aaron," for several months. When she was here recently I asked her to clean out some of the stuff from under her bed and in her closet. She proceeded to throw out her yearbooks, photos from high school dances -- even old journals! It seems she had an unpleasant experience with Aaron when a roommate mentioned an old friend of hers -- a boy, but not a boyfriend. Aaron became very "hurt" by the conversation. So now Crystal wants no reminders of her past -- especially regarding other boys. Is this normal? I don't know what to do. I wonder whether they need counseling before they marry, but I don't want to interfere. My daughter becomes angry with me over little things. She even ignored us when we asked her to come celebrate her brother's birthday. She just wants to be with her true love; nobody else seems to matter. -- A WORRIED MOM

DEAR MOM: Your idea of premarital counseling is an excellent one. Aaron appears to be extremely insecure, and

your daughter is so in love she can't see the handwriting on the wall. When you invited her to celebrate her brother's birthday, did you also include her fiance? If so, and she still didn't want to come, Aaron may be trying to distance her from the family. Assuming that Crystal intends to be married in your church, have a talk with your clergyperson about this. If there is a problem looming on the horizon, premarital counseling may bring it out -- and help them to deal with it before it gets out of hand. ** Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. ** For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a businesssized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 610540447. (Postage is included in the price.) COPYRIGHT 2010 UNIVERSAL UCLICK

Alternatives to Road Salt Shawn Dell Joyce According to the National Research Council (NRC), we Americans dump between 8 million to 12 million tons of salt on our roads per year. Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York report the highest level of salt use, with New York weighing in at 500,000 tons per year. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) requires a road-salt application rate of 225 pounds per lane-mile for light snow and 270 pounds per lane-mile for each application during rapidly accumulating snow. When you consider that there are approximately 6,000 miles of paved roadways near New York watersheds, you begin to see how all that road salt adds up. Some roads may get up to 300 tons of road salt per lanemile each year. Recently, many scientists have begun to study the effects of so much road salt on ecosystems, water quality, public health and road quality. Here are a few things you should know before your break out that sodium chloride (NaCl), the most commonly used deicer. — Salt destroys soil structure by killing some soil bacteria. This allows more soil to erode into streams, taking the salt with it. Salt erosion contaminates drinking-water supplies to levels that exceed standards. — Salt doesn't evaporate or otherwise get removed once applied, so it remains a persistent risk to aquatic ecosystems and water quality. Approximately 55 percent of road salt runs off with snow melt into streams, with the remaining 45 percent infiltrating through soils and into groundwater aquifers, according to a 1993 study. — Salt slowly kills trees, especially white pines, and other roadside plants. The loss of indigenous plants and trees on roadsides allows hardier salt-tolerant species to take over.

— Salt can change water chemistry, causing minerals to leach out of the soil, and it increases the acidity of water, according to Dr. Stephen Norton, a professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Maine. — Elk, moose and sheep eat road salt, causing "salt toxicosis," where they lose their fear of vehicles and humans, causing many fatal encounters. — Salt cracks animal paws, with house pets particularly susceptible. — Road salt seeping into drinking water changes its flavor and supplies the excess dietary sodium associated with hypertension.

tively harmless to the environment and still get the job done. Calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) and potassium acetate (KA) are two chloride alternatives currently available. They are much more expensive than road salt, but if you factor in the loss of wildlife, soil erosion, water quality and corrosion, these alternatives start to look like a real bargain. For home use, there are many alternatives with varying degrees of environmental safety. — Urea is often used for deicing as it melts ice and is not corrosive, making it popular for airport runways. Urea can also cause algae blooms in waterways, so it isn't a good choice near streams.

Trucks like this one are applying up to 300 tons of road salt per lane mile in some states. Scientists are studying the effect of this much salt on the ecosystems.

— Salt corrodes metals like automobile brake linings, frames and bumpers, and can cause cosmetic corrosion. To prevent this corrosion, automakers pay almost $4 billion per year. — Salt can penetrate concrete to corrode the reinforcing rods causing damage to bridges, roads and cracked pavement. Canada is considering classifying conventional deicers as toxic substances under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. California and Nevada restrict road-salt use in certain areas to reduce damage to roadside vegetation. Massachusetts is using alternative deicers to prevent contamination of drinking water. New York is considering doing the same to protect New York City's watershed. There are alternatives to sodium chloride that are rela-

— Alfalfa meal is a natural fertilizer that actually melts the ice, provides traction and won't harm the environment. It is different than pelletized alfalfa sold in feed stores. Look for meal in local garden centers. — The greenest choice at home is snow cleats on your shoes and a good workout with a snow shovel instead of chemical deicers. Got a bad back? Pay the neighbor's teenager to do the job for you, and keep the money flowing in your local economy! Shawn Dell Joyce is an award-winning columnist and founder of the Wallkill River School in Orange County, N.Y. You can contact her at m. COPYRIGHT 2010 CREATORS.COM

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SPOTLIGHT 311.JAN 29,2010:SPL 1/27/10 3:56 PM Page 10


Energy Express

2010 Fitness Trends: Mobile Philanthropy! Digital Cleansing! Kettlebells! Marilynn Preston

This time of year, I get a fair amount of exercise trolling for trends — especially healthy lifestyle trends, my bread and olive oil. The recession is taking its toll, and it's not all bad. In 2010, more of us are going green, trading down, cutting back, scrutinizing food labels more and eating out less. "Small is the new big" is one of my favorite trends for 2010 because it is what it says — a small statement about a very big shift that is taking

place in the collective consciousness. People are more interested in smaller cars, smaller houses AND the fine print, according to Ann Mack, that princess of prognostication who runs trendspotting for JWT, the global advertising agency. Mack — who also predicts 2010 is about "searching for stability ... and retooling for an aging world" — had her crystal balls crushed by Jon Stewart on a recent Daily Show send-up of her corporate-funded research, and her 50 global trend scouts.

I am not one of them, nor do I wear feathered earrings and jumpsuits, two of the wilder prediction misfires of 2009. But I love reporting on a good trend, especially when it's in line with my own thinking. More people seeking out healthy lifestyle coaches? More Zumba, salsa and strength-training classes? More school programs to combat childhood obesity? All predicted, all positive, let them come true. Here are a few more well-spotted trends to inspire, educate and maybe even comfort you: — Mobile Philanthropy means using your cell phone to be charitable. It's one of the featured 2010 trends on the website, and it's already had an enormous impact on the Haitian relief effort, "the largest mass texting effort ever."

This Cookie helps fund a camp for city kids.

This Cookie cheers up soldiers in Iraq.

This Cookie teaches girls how to manage money.

Every Cookie Has a Mission: TO HELP GIRLS DO GREAT THINGS.

The JWT trend scouts report a growing awareness that social networking is a huge time suck and "causes people anxiety as they try to keep up and exist in a culture of public nar-

In 2005, the American Red Cross raised about $400,000 via mobile phones during the Hurricane Katrina crisis. This year, because mobile philanthropy is catching on, people texted to donate more than $6 million to the Red Cross relief effort in Haiti in just the first few days! It's only $10 at a time, but it all adds up to a huge heartfelt gesture to do the right thing. And that's where the health benefits kick in. Reaching out to others across the street or across the globe is an energy boost. It feels good to do good, and studies show that generosity helps you live a longer, happier life. — The Digital Cleanse is the forward-thinking name of a trend I could really get behind. It was spotted a couple of years ago by Mack and team, and it's still on their collective radar for 2010.

Find your cookies at

© 2009 Girl Scouts of the United States of America. All Rights Reserved.

cause they want their real life back, complete with non-virtual real friends.

The Digital Cleanse refers to people who decide to abstain from social networking for a period of time. They drop off Facebook, abandon Twitter, are MIAs on My Space. Why? Be-

cuit training and kettlebell training, for instance. Kettlebells? Imagine a cannon ball with a handle. Amazing workout in half the time, first popularized by a Russian strongman named Bruno more than 300 years ago. — Exergaming — fitness-based video games along the lines of Wii sports and Wii fit — is still luring the masses. I suppose any activity is better than none, but I'm a wee bit suspect of this trend since it means even more time indoors, tied to the technology, away from nature with its invigorating and calming effects. Coming up? ACE predicts exergaming group classes at fitness clubs. Personally, I 'd rather go around in feather earrings and a jumpsuit. ENERGY EXPRESS-O! THE YOGIS KNOW

cissism." This trend is "also driven by concerns over privacy and control of personal data." It may be a minor trend compared to the swarms of people who are texting while driving into trees and Bluetoothing their brains for 24-7 connectivity, but I still count it as a very healthy one. — "Time-efficient workouts for time-pressured Americans" is one of many 2010 fitness trends reported by ACE, the American Council on Exercise. Who has 90 minutes a day to relax, get stronger, stretch? That's why shorter, smarter workouts are trending upward — boot camps, cir-

"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future." — Yogi Berra Marilynn Preston — fitness expert, personal trainer and speaker on healthy lifestyle issues — is the creator of Energy Express, the longestrunning syndicated fitness column in the country. She has a website, and welcomes reader questions, which can be sent to COPYRIGHT 2010 ENERGY EXPRESS, LTD.

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FOCUS ON THE FAMILY with Dr. James Dobson

SINGLE MOTHER QUESTION: As a single mother, I'd like to leave my children with friends or relatives for a few days and get some time for myself, but I'm worried about how this might affect them. Will they feel deserted again? DR. DOBSON: Not only is a brief time away from your children not likely to be hurtful -- it will probably be healthy for them. One of the special risks faced by single parents is the possibility of a dependency relationship developing that will trap their children at an immature stage. This danger is increased when wounded people cling to each other exclusively for support in stressful times. Spending a reasonable amount of time apart can teach independence and give everyone a little relief from the routine. Therefore, if you have a clean, safe place to leave your children for a week or two, by all means, do it. You'll be more

refreshed and better able to handle your usual "homework" when you return. ** Dr. Dobson is founder and Chairman Emeritus of the nonprofit organization Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80995

( Questions and answers are excerpted from "Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide" and "Bringing Up Boys," both published by Tyndale House. COPYRIGHT 2010 JAMES DOBSON INC.

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SPOTLIGHT 311.JAN 29,2010:SPL 1/27/10 3:56 PM Page 13


Video Game Review

'Army of Two: The 40th Day' Redefines Bro-mance tics to get the job done.

DEVELOPER: EA Montreal PUBLISHER: EA Games SYSTEM: Microsoft Xbox 360 (PS3) PRICE: $59.99 ESRB RATING: Mature REVIEW RATING: 4 stars (out of 5)

A few years after the original story ends, Rios and Salem are in Shanghai on a routine mission when the city literally begins crumbling around them. Dozens of gigantic explosions reverberate through the city as skyscrapers topple to the ground and citizens flee in panic. Now it's up to the hardened veterans to survive the chaos together and uncover the dastardly perpetrators.

After globe-trotting to combat terrorists in the original game, private military contractors Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem are back to kick butt in the explosive third person shooter, "Army of Two: The 40th Day." There hasn't been a dynamic duo this over-thetop since Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, but that doesn't stop them from employing various team tac-

Although the subject is terrifying, watching buildings topple around me while I'm blasting my way through enemies is a breathtaking sight to behold. It also lets the developers create unusual areas, such as fighting through a


also be nice if the cover system was more reliable.

building as it slowly falls or shooting enemies from a concrete slab that is being moved by a crane. Too bad the game play gets a bit repetitive. Not surprisingly, the "aggro" system from the first game re-


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turns to let players actively control whom the enemy focuses on. When one player is being shot at, the other player can flank the enemy and easily pick them off. I just wish that I could issue more indepth commands. It would

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5 stars = Must Have 4 stars = Very Good 3 stars = Above Average 2 stars = Bargain Bin 1 star = Don't Bother RATINGS KEY Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) E: (Everyone) E10-plus: (Everyone 10 and older) T: Teen (13 and older) M: Mature (17 and older)


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While "Army of Two: The 40th Day" isn't groundbreaking, several new additions help the game rise above it's mediocre predecessor.

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Fortunately, a robust weapon customization system makes up for some of these complaints. When out of combat, players can purchase or modify any weapons they choose. With the freedom to change everything from the stock to the barrel, players can transform nearly any firearm into their dream weapon. It's also possible to go online and create original designs for each player's mask to use and share with others, which is very cool.


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SPOTLIGHT 311.JAN 29,2010:SPL 1/27/10 3:56 PM Page 14


Plan For Pet-Friendly Yard Exercise, Fences Can Keep Plants Safe From Dogs By Gina Spadafori Universal Uclick


very year more of my yard gets turned over to sustainable projects, from my pet chickens and their fresh eggs to an ever-growing collection of raised beds and containers planted with the veggies I love — and some flowers, too. This year, I’m taking back a huge swath of lawn, fencing it off and having a contractor really go to town, doubling the size of my garden and putting in drip irrigation and mulched paths to save on weeding and water. The way I’m planning it, my yard will be beautiful and productive — and I’m doing this while continuing to share my life with my dogs. And you can, too. That’s because dogs and lush gardens — whether productive or decorative — aren’t mutually exclusive. You can’t just plant whatever you want where you want it and throw a bored, unsupervised dog into the mix. Instead, plan your yard to take your dog into account, and mind your dog’s needs to get him to leave the plants alone. The basic guidelines:

• Exercise your dog. A dog with too much energy isn’t one you want to leave alone all day in a nice yard — and yet that’s exactly what many people do. If you don’t take care of your dog’s exercise requirements, he’s going to take care of them on his own, by digging a hole to China or by removing the shrubs in your yard. Dogs who don’t get daily exercise are likely to expend that energy and cure boredom by doing things people don’t like — digging, chewing and barking. Dogs who are well-exercised are more likely to sleep while you are gone. When you leave, you should also offer your dog alternatives to choosing his own amusements: Provide him with chew toys. You can make them more appealing by praising him for using them and by stuffing hollow toys — such as a Kong — with something delicious, like peanut butter. • Work with your dog’s habits. Observe how your dog uses your yard, and plan accordingly. For instance, many dogs consider it their duty to run the fence line, leaving a well-worn trail where many people hope to put flowers.

PET RX The word “cancer” used to be pretty much synonymous with “euthanasia” in veterinary medicine. That has changed a great deal in recent years. Today, there’s a wide range of options, everything from hospice care aimed at pain-management to the most aggressive surgical, chemo and radiation therapies. The outcome? Cures for some pets, longterm remissions for others and, for the rest, Some breeds, such as the golden retriever, are highly prone to cancer.

Instead of fighting with your dog, go with his natural instincts. Place your beds and plantings away from the fence line, and let him do his guarddog patrolling behind those plants. • Consider giving your dog a yard of his own. At my house, the dogs are never let out in the main yard without supervision — and the veggie garden and chicken areas are fenced off — but they come and go at will into a side yard that’s just for them. A low fence covered with climbing roses hides from view both the dog yard and the chicken/veggie areas. • Redirect digging. Some breeds were developed to dig, and expecting them not to indulge in it is unfair. You can find most of these digging dogs in the terrier group — the word terrier comes from terra, for “earth.” You can keep many dogs from digging if you keep them exercised, limit their access to dirt and make the digging experience unpleasant. Sometimes, putting the dog’s own stools in the hole and covering them with dirt deters them. Many dogs won’t dig if their own mess is under the surface.

Work with your dog to plan a garden that won’t be destroyed, and you can both enjoy the greenery. Another option is giving your dog a dig zone. While hardly clean fun, it is good fun, especially for dogs who are happiest with their noses in the dirt and their paws flying. • Put special plants in safer places. Raised beds and hanging planters are the place to put your most precious plants. In borders, put the plants that can take being stepped on in front. What are some dog-friendly plants? Mint is a good one. This plant is nearly indestructible and greets each assault

with a wave of cool mint smell. Some lilies are tough enough to be stomped or sat on, as well, and your gardening center may have suggestions for others that are dependable growers in your region. Dogs don’t know a wisteria from a weed, and they never will. That’s why it’s up to you not to leave them unattended around plants you want left alone. When you leave for work, limit your dog’s space for his safety and to protect your plants. Most of a dog’s

time alone is spent sleeping anyway, so he doesn’t need to have the entire run of the house and yard. Outings — for jogging, walking, fetch or swimming — should be done with your supervision. If your dog is allowed in your yard under your supervision only, the chance of his digging or chewing is just about nil — you can stop him before the damage is done. And you can enjoy your beautiful yard together. I know at my home, we do.

Cancer in pets no longer a death sentence a good quality of life for a little extra time. The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the better. Know these signs, and have your pet checked out when you observe them: • asymmetrical swelling • lumps and bumps • a wound that doesn’t heal • unexplained weight loss • lameness that can’t be attributed to injury • an older pet who’s not thriving • unexplained vomiting or diarrhea Keeping pets at proper weight and

limiting or avoiding a pet’s exposure to such risks as secondhand smoke is also recommended. For more information, talk to your pet’s veterinarian. If you haven’t ever dealt with cancer in a pet, consider yourself lucky. And then consider donating to research for pet health, such as through the Morris Animal Foundation (www.morrisanimal, Winn Feline ( or the AKC Canine Health Foundation ( A good online reference site is the Pet Cancer Center ( — Dr. Marty Becker

SPOTLIGHT 311.JAN 29,2010:SPL 1/27/10 3:56 PM Page 15

By George Varga ANAHEIM, Calif. -Move over, Tomorrowland. Step aside, Fantasyland. The future is already here, with a dazzling array of innovative musical instruments that will be on store shelves soon. They were already on display this past weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center, which hosted 80,000 attendees and the wares of 1,400 exhibitors at the annual NAMM Show. NAMM stands for National Association of Music Merchants, although the organization has operated as the International Music Products Association for more than a decade, while retaining the NAMM acronym. "It's a whole new world," said Joe Lamond, the president and CEO of NAMM. "But our core mission is the same -- to create excitement about playing instruments." Headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., NAMM has grown from a handful of piano dealers who founded the organization in 1901 to 9,000 member companies from more than 100 countries that produce every musical instrument imaginable. Among the instruments being unveiled in the shadow of Disneyland is the potentially game-changing You Rock Guitar. A hy-

brid instrument that weighs less than 6 pounds, it can be used as a video-game console to play "Guitar Hero," "Rock Band" and other music-inspired games. It can also be plugged into an amplifier and played as a guitar -- one that never requires tuning or hurts your fingers, can sound like one of 25 electric and acoustic guitar models and can be accompanied by instrumental backing tracks stored in an iPod, iPhone or any other mp3 player. Then there's Beamz, which is powered by a computer through a USB port and looks like a science-fiction fan's musical dream come to life. Beamz is billed as an interactive "recreational musical instrument," and its users make sounds by passing their fingers through red laser beams emitted from a W-shaped console. By moving their hands up, down, sideways or at any angle and speed, users can play along to recorded and live music with a single motion, or as many as they like. "It's a way to bring people into music in a whole new way, people who don't play music," said Beamz creator Jerry Riopelle, a veteran singer-songwriter turned music software creator. "Anything you play on Beamz will sound good, and you can learn to play it within minutes." Perhaps most eye-popping is the uber-high-tech Eigenharp, which took nine years to develop -- as opposed to a mere eight years for Beamz. The Eigenharp Alpha, which went on sale in August in Europe, has 120 melody keys, 12 percussion keys, a clarinet-like breath controller, two finger-activated strip controllers and -- with the flick of a button -Continues on page 17

Mark Wood performed at the NAMM show on Wood electric violins that are heavily influenced by guitar shapes. Photo courtesy of John Gastaldo.

SPOTLIGHT 311.JAN 29,2010:SPL 1/27/10 3:56 PM Page 16


CINEMARK CIELO VISTA Gateway West Blvd/Cielo Vista Mall Schedule good for 1/29 & 1/31 EDGE OF DARKNESS (R)*1:05PM 4:00 7:15 10:10 TOOTH FAIRY (PG)*1:50PM 3:10 4:35 5:50 7:10 8:30 9:50 EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES (PG)* 1:55PM 4:40 7:25 10:05 DAYBREAKERS (R) 2:30PM 5:05 7:40 10:25 LEAP YEAR(PG) 1:45PM 4:15 6:55 9:30 SHERLOCK HOLMES (PG-13)DIGITAL 1:15PM 2:50 4:25 6:05 7:35 9:10 ITS COMPLICATED (R)1:30PM 4:20 7:20 10:15 ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: SQUE AKQUEL (PG)1:40PM 4:00 6:30 8:55

PRINCESS & THE FROG (G) 1:25PM 4:05 ~CINEARTS~ CRAZY HEART (R)*1:20PM 4:10 7:00 9:55 UP IN THE AIR (R)1:35PM 4:30 7:05 10:00 NINE (PG-13) 6:45PM 9:40 PRECIOUS (R)2:00PM 4:50 7:30 10:20 ~OPERA~ 2/3/10 CARMEN Encore (NR) @ 6:30PM ~FATHOM EVENT~ 1/30/10 , 2/2/10 BOLD AND FRESH TOUR O'RELLY AND BECK @ 6PM 2/4/10 A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION LIVE WITH GARRISON KELLOR @ 6PM



West side of El Paso at Mesa & I-10 Schedule good for Friday January 29th., 2010 EDGE OF DARKNESS*(R)11:25am 2:10pm 4:55pm 7:40pm 10:25pm WHEN IN ROME*(PG-13)10:25am 12:45pm 2:00pm 3:05pm 4:20pm 5:25pm 6:40pm 7:45pm 9:00pm 10:05pm ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL(PG)11:45am 2:00pm 4:20pm 6:30pm AVATAR - REAL D 3D(PG-13) 12:30pm 3:55pm 7:30pm EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES* (PG) 11:25am 2:00pm 4:35pm 7:10pm 9:45pm IT'S COMPLICATED(R)9:55am 12:20pm 3:10pm 5:55pm 8:40pm LEAP YEAR (PG) 8:45pm LEGION*(R)11:50am 2:15pm 4:40pm 7:05pm 9:30pm

SHERLOCK HOLMES - DIGITAL (PG-13)11:20am 2:15pm 5:10pm 8:05pm THE BLIND SIDE(PG-13)1:15pm 6:55pm THE BOOK OF ELI(R)10:30am 11:35am 2:20pm 4:10pm 5:00pm 7:45pm 9:50pm 10:30pm THE LOVELY BONES(PG-13) 10:15am 1:20pm 4:15pm 7:15pm 10:15pm THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG (G)11:35am THE SPY NEXT DOOR(PG)10:20am 12:40pm 3:00pm 5:20pm 7:45pm TOOTH FAIRY*(PG)9:45am 12:15pm 2:45pm 5:15pm 7:45pm 10:15pm UP IN THE AIR - CinéArts(R)10:00pm

Tinseltown Las Palmas i-10 @ Zaragosa Schedule good for Fri. January 29th - Thurs. Feb 4th., 2010 XD Showing Avatar (XD-3D) (PG-13) 11:30 3:10 6:45 10:25 ALVIN AND THE CHIMPUNCKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL (PG) 11:40 1:55 4:30 6:55 9:15 AVATAR (3D) (PG-13) 12:45 4:45 8:35 BOOK OF ELI, THE (R)*11:30 2:15 5:05 7:50 10:35 BOOK OF ELI, THE (DIGITAL) (R)* 12:35 3:40 6:35 9:25 CRAZY HEART (R)*11:10 1:50 4:50 7:35 10:15 DAYBREAKERS (R)1:55 7:05 EDGE OF DARKNESS (R)*11:25 12:30 2:10 3:30 5:00 6:20 7:45 9:10 10:30 EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES (PG)* 11:30 2:05 4:40 7:15 9:55 IT'S COMPLICATED (R)11:15 2:05 4:50 7:40 10:30 LEGION (R)*11:55 1:05 2:20 3:35 4:55 6:10 7:30 8:35 10:10

LOVELY BONES, THE (PG-13)* 12:40 3:50 7:05 10:10 SHERLOCK HOLMES (PG-13) 12:15 3:30 6:30 9:30 SPY NEXT DOOR, THE (PG) 12:00 2:20 4:40 7:15 9:40 TOOTH FAIRY (PG)*11:10 12:50 2:00 3:25 4:45 6:10 7:25 8:45 10:05 WHEN IN ROME (PG-13)*11:25 12:30 1:45 3:00 4:15 5:40 6:40 8:00 9:20 10:25 YOUT IN REVOLT (R)11:40 4:30 10:00 VISIT OUR WEBSITE OR call 1-800-326-3264 Express Code 1142# for more showtimes. COME TRY SOME OF OUR HOT BREWED COFFEE WHILE YOU SIT DOWN AND ENJOY THE SHOW!!!!!


Premiere Cinemas

Now Showing Legion Rated: R Genre: Drama An out-of-the-way diner becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race. When God loses faith in Mankind, he sends his legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse. Humanity's only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner and the Archangel Michael. Starring: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Kate Walsh

The Lovely Bones Rated: PG-13 Genre: Drama

(PG)10:30a 11:30a 1:00p 2:00p 3:30p 4:30p 6:05p 8:30p *WHEN IN ROME- DIGITAL (PG-13) 10:00a 12:25p 2:50p 5:20p 7:40p 10:00p OLD DOGS- DIGITAL (PG) 10:05a 12:25p 2:45p 5:05p 7:25p 9:45p THE BLIND SIDE- DIGITAL (PG-13) 11:20a 2:50p 6:05p 9:20p THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON - DIGITAL (PG-13)10:50a 2:10p 6:10p 9:25p THE YOUNG VICTORIA- DIGITAL (PG)10:10a 12:50p 3:30p 6:15p 9:00p YOUTH IN REVOLT- DIGITAL (R) 7:30p 10:00p

EAST POINTE MOVIES 12 I-10 & Lee Trevino Schedule good for 01/29 - 02/04/10 2012 (PG-13) 12:10 | 1:00 | 3:15 | 4:00 6:20 | 7:35 | 9:20 A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2009) (PG) 12:05 | 2:35 | 4:35 ARMORED (PG-13) 12:45 | 2:50 | 5:20 | 7:45 | 9:50 CIRQUE DU FREAK: THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT (PG-13) 12:20 | 2:45 | 7:30 CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS (PG) 12:00 2:30 | 4:30 | 6:45 | 8:45 COUPLES RETREAT (PG-13) 12:25 | 2:40 | 4:55 | 7:15 | 9:35

LAW ABIDING CITIZEN (R) 5:05 | 9:40 MORE THAN A GAME (PG) 7:00 | 9:05 NINJA ASSASSIN (R) 12:50 | 3:05 | 5:15 | 7:25 | 9:25 PLANET 51 (PG)12:30 | 2:55 | 4:50 | 7:10 | 9:00 THE FOURTH KIND (PG-13) 12:35 | 2:35 | 5:00 | 7:20 | 9:30 THE STEPFATHER (PG-13) 12:40 | 3:00 | 5:25 | 7:40 | 9:45 WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (PG) 12:15 | 2:15 | 4:15 | 6:30 | 8:30

01/29/10 PG-13 for some suggestive content An ambitious young New Yorker, disillusioned with romance, takes a whirlwind trip to Rome where she defiantly plucks magic coins from a fountain of love, inexplicably igniting the passion of those who threw them in: a sausage magnate, a street magician, an adoring painter and a self-admiring model. But, when a charming reporter pursues her with equal zest, how will she know if his love is the real thing? Starring: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett, Alexis Dziena, Jon Heder

Edge of Darkness 01/29/10 R for strong bloody violence and language

The Wolfman

"Edge of Darkness" is an emotionally charged thriller set at the intersection of politics and big business. Thomas Craven is a veteran homicide detective for the Boston Police Department and a single father. When his only child, 24-year-old Emma, is murdered on the steps of his home, everyone assumes that he was the target. But, he soon suspects otherwise, and embarks on a mission to find out about his daughter's secret life and her murder. His investigation leads him into a dangerous looking-glass world of corporate cover-ups, government collusion and murder -- and to CIA operative Darius Jedburgh, who has been sent in to clean up the evidence. Craven's solitary search for answers about his daughter's death transforms into an odyssey of emotional discovery and redemption.

02/12/10 R for bloody horror violence and gore

Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Huston, Ray Winstone, Shawn Roberts, Peter Hermann

A young girl, who has been murdered, watches over her family -- and her killer -- from heaven. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal. Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Saoirse Ronan

Coming Soon

6101 Gateway West S.15 Schedule good for 01-29-10

*AVATAR 3D- DIGITAL (PG-13) 10:00a 10:30a 11:20a 2:00p 2:30p 3:50p 6:30p 7:30p 8:30p *BOOK OF ELI- DIGITAL (R)10:00a 12:15p 12:55p 3:15p 3:55p 6:15p 6:50p 9:15p 9:45p *BROKEN EMBRACES- 35MM (R) 11:00a 2:30p 6:30p 9:35p *LEGION- DIGITAL (R)10:00a 11:00a 12:40p 1:40p 3:20p 4:20p 6:05p 7:05p 8:45p 9:45p *THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS- 35 (PG-13) 11:05a 2:45p 6:15p 9:35p *THE LOVELY BONES- DIGITAL (PG-13)10:15a 11:15a 1:35p 2:35p 5:00p 6:05p 8:30p 9:25p *THE SPY NEXT DOOR- DIGITAL

When in Rome

Lawrence Talbot's childhood ended the night his mother died. After he left the sleepy Victorian hamlet of Blackmoor, he spent decades recovering and trying to forget. But when his brother's fiancée, Gwen Conliffe, tracks him down to help find her missing love, Talbot returns home to join the search. He learns that something with brute strength and insatiable bloodlust has been killing the villagers, and that a suspicious Scotland Yard inspector named Aberline has come to investigate. As he pieces together the gory puzzle, he hears of an ancient curse that turns the afflicted into werewolves when the moon is full. Now, if he has any chance at ending the slaughter and protecting the woman he has grown to love, Talbot must destroy the vicious creature in the woods surrounding Blackmoor. But as he hunts for the nightmarish beast, a simple man with a tortured past will uncover a primal side to himself -- one he never imagined existed. Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving, Art Malik

Daybreakers Now Showing Rated: R Genre: Action/Adventure The year is 2019. A mysterious plague has swept over the earth, transforming the majority of the world's population into vampires. Humans are now an endangered, second-class species -- forced into hiding as they are hunted and farmed for vampire consumption to the brink of extinction. It's all up to Edward Dalton, a vampire researcher who refuses to feed on human blood, to perfect a blood substitute that might sustain vampires and spare the few remaining humans. But time and hope are running out -- until Ed meets Audrey, a human survivor who leads him to a startling medical breakthrough. Armed with knowledge that both humans and vampires will kill for, Ed must battle his own kind in a deadly struggle that will decide the fate of the human race. Starring: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill, Claudia Karvan, Isabel Lucas

SPOTLIGHT 311.JAN 29,2010:SPL 1/27/10 3:56 PM Page 17


New Musical Instruments Continued from page 15 ...myriad musical scales and instrument sounds to choose from. Designed for live performances, it can play and record musical loops, change keys, transpose, program beats, alter tempos and switch and layer sounds. A beginner's version, the Eigenharp Pico, which has 22 keys, is also available. "The future of music is making music software human and bringing an organic quality to electronic music," said Eigenlabs founder John Lambert. Learning to play the highly complex Eigenharp Alpha is "intimidating" and can take months, Lambert acknowledged. However, he noted that his 8year-old daughter was quickly able to play the far less complex Pico, which retails for about onetenth of the nearly $5,610 list price of the Alpha. The prices of the Beamz ($199$299) and the You Rock Guitar ($199) are much less daunting, and so is learning to play them: They require no musical skill, just the desire to make music with no fuss or training. "Our motto is: Have fun, rock will happen," said Kevin Kent, 55, the CEO of You Rock Guitar

manufacturer, Inspired Instruments. "Everything is going digital, that's for certain. And firsttime guitar players can play our in- Mark Wood, left, and Bridgid Bibbens perstrument formed at the NAMM show on Wood electric viwithout olins that are heavily influenced by guitar making a shapes. Photo courtesy of John Gastaldo. mistake and $16.5 billion globally last without any musical knowlyear, nearly half of which edge." Fender, the famed guicame from the United States. tar and amplifier giant that But not every instrument at has factories in Ensenada, NAMM requires a computer Mexico, and Riverside or digital interface capabiliCounty, is debuting its USBties. Taylor Guitars, the El and mp3-compatible Fender Cajon, Calif., company that G-DEC 3 amplirecently celebrated its 35th fiers. The 15anniversary, continues to and 30-watt amps, which let thrive by making some of the world's most sought-after you play and acoustic guitars, including its store music new Jason Mraz Signature files, feature Model. The company is also 100 music using NAMM to introduce its presets in new 8-string baritone guitar, myriad which produces an unusually styles, some resonant sound and combines of which sonic characteristics of both a were creconventional guitar and a ated by bass. "The first quarter of such top 2009 was pretty bleak, but the guitarists first quarter of 2010 seems as Brad pretty good and we're looking Paisley at production increases," and Keith Urban. company co-founder Bob Making music easier to play Taylor said. "People are not is also the goal of the Nuvo Clarineo ($149), a waterproof going out and getting bigticket items, but instruments plastic clarinet designed for tend to do well in a down children. The wave of fresh economy. Guitars make them ideas and products comes feel good. Or, maybe, guitaramid sagging instrument players are irrepressible." sales, which Lamond said dropped from an estimated COPYRIGHT 2010 $18 billion in 2008 to about CREATORS.COM

PREMIERE MONTWOOD 7 2200 N. Yarbrough Schedule good for 1/29/10 - 2/04/10 2012 (PG-13) 12:00p 3:05p 6:10p 9:15p A CHRISTMAS CAROL (PG) 12:05p 2:30p 4:50p 7:10p 9:25p ARMORED (PG-13) 12:25p 2:40p 4:40p 7:15p 9:35p CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF M (PG)12:15p 2:30p 4:40p 7:00p 9:20p NINJA ASSASIN(R) 12:10p 2:25p 4:45p 7:10p 9:30p PLANET 51 (PG)12:20p 2:35p 4:55p 7:05p 9:15p THE FOURTH KIND (PG-13) 12:20p 2:35p 4:50p 7:15p 9:40p

Schedule good for 1/29 - 2/04 $5.00 MILITARY ADMISSION!! $TIMULUS TUE$DAY $1.00 DRINK $1.00 POPCORN EVERY TUESDAY ADVANCE TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR ALICE IN WONDERLAND 3D EDGE OF DARKNESS R (10:50 FRI-SUN)1:15 4:10 7:05 9:40 (12:10 FRI/SAT) WHEN IN ROME PG-13 (11:00 FRI-SUN) 1:00 5:30 7:45 10:00 (12:10 FRI/SAT) THE YOUNG VICTORIA PG (11:00 FRI-SUN) 1:15 5:45 8:00 10:15 LEGION R (11:00 FRISUN) 1:30 4:15 7:10 9:40 (12:10 FRI/SAT) TOOTH FAIRY PG (11:00 FRI-SUN) 1:30 4:10 7:00 9:30 (12:00 FRI/SAT) THE BOOK OF ELI R (12:00 FRI-SUN) 1:30 3:00 4:15 5:50 7:00 8:45 9:40 (12:15 FRI/SAT) EXTRAORDINARY

MEASURES PG (11:00 FRI-SUN) 1:30 4:20 7:05 9:35 (12:00 FRI/SAT) THE SPY NEXT DOOR PG 1:00 3:15 5:30 7:45 9:55 (12:10 FRI/SAT) THE LOVELY BONES PG-13 (11:00 FRI-SUN) 2:00 5:00 8:00 (11:15 FRI/SAT) AVATAR 3D *3D SURCHARGE APPLIES PG13 (11:30 FRI-SUN) 1:00 3:00 4:30 6:30 8:00 10:00 (11:30 FRI/SAT) SHERLOCK HOLMES PG-13 (11:00 FRI-SUN) 2:00 5:00 8:00 (11:00 FRI/SAT) THE BLIND SIDE PG-13 12:30 3:20 6:30 9:20 ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL PG (10:50 FRI-SUN) 1:00 3:10 5:20 7:30 9:40 THE PRINCESS & THE FROG G 12:35 2:50 5:05 7:20 DAYBREAKERS R 9:40 (12:05 FRI/SAT)

SPOTLIGHT 311.JAN 29,2010:SPL 1/27/10 3:56 PM Page 18


Calendar of upcoming events for El Paso/ Southern New Mexico are from January 29th thru February 4th. 2010 If you want your upcoming event listed in SPOTLIGHT’S Out & About section, please send all your relevant data by e-mail to:

NORTHEAST/ CENTRAL ‘Little Women’ – Kids-

N-Co. presents the classic Alcott tale Jan. 23-Feb. 14 at Kids-N-Co. Performance Space. 1301 Texas. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $5-$7 at the door. Information: 351-1455. The story by Louisa May Alcott, inspired by her own childhood with three sisters, is set in post-Civil War Massachusetts. Each of the four March girls struggle to overcome character flaws: Meg, vanity; Jo, a hot temper; Beth, shyness; and Amy, selfishness.

El Paso Museum of Archaeology — 4301

Transmountain in Northeast El Paso (west of U.S. 54). Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to

5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Information: 755-4332. Showing through Feb. 14: “Rarámuri: The Foot Runners of the Sierra Madre,” photography by Diana Molina. The exhibit includes 25 ilfochrome color prints, as well as 25 Rarámuri handcrafted artifacts. Molina captures the contemporary life of the Rarámuri of the Sierra Madre. A zip tour of the exhibit is 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30. Molina will provide a personal tour of her exhibit, speak of her experiences with the Rarámuri for over a decade, and discuss the interrelationship between the Rarámuri and the challenging environment in which they live.

LOWER VALLEy ‘Pets, Parks, and You!’ — Chamizal National

Memorial, 800 S San Marcial,

hosts the special event promoting pet responsibility, ownership, and control in celebration of February as Responsible Pet Owners Month 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30. Admission is free. Information: Dora Martinez, 532-7273, ext. 128.

El Paso Rhinos — El

Paso’s Junior League ice hockey team home games are at the Sierra Providence Events Center, next to the Coliseum, 4100 E. Paisano. Regular games times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Ticket information: 479-PUCK (7825) or • Jan. 29-31 — Tulsa Rampage

EASTSIDE ‘Alice in Wonderland Jr.’ — Eastwood

Trooper Theatre Troupe presents a family-friendly produc-

tion of the musical based on Disney’s 1951 classic retelling of Lewis Carroll’s novel Jan. 28-31, at Eastwood High School Theater, 2430 McRae Blvd. Performance times are 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $5 ($3 students and children 12 and younger). Information: 434-4108. Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International. Showing Jan. 16-July 10: “The Da Vinci Experience Exhibition.” El Paso will be the ex-

WESTSIDE/ DOWNTOWN Adair Margo Fine Art — Margo’s new gallery

is at 215 Stanton, Suite 602 (in The Martin Building). Hours are 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by appointment. Information: 533-0048 or Showing Jan. 29-Feb. 19: Exhibition of Classic Photographs by Bruce Berman. An opening reception is 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29. Following the reception, Berman will give a talk on Three Decades of Photographing the Border , 12:45 to 1:30 p.m. at the Percolator, 217 N. Stanton.

LYNX Exhibits — The exhibit space is at 300 W. San Antonio (just south of Convention Center). Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday. Last admission is one hour before closing time.Admission is $10 for adults; $8 seniors, military and students with ID; and $6 ages 4 to 11. Children 3 and younger are free. Information: 533-4330 or El Paso Museum of History — 510 N. Santa

Fe. Hours (including gift shop) are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays and city holidays. Admission is free for all exhibits, unless otherwise listed. Information: 351-3588 or elpaso-

hibit’s West Texas stop. It consists of more than 60 precise and working machines described and designed by Leonardo Da Vinci along with replicas of his greatest paintings; most notably the Mona Lisa. One piece is a precursor to the Gatling gun, weighing 2 tons. Tickets: $14 ($12 seniors 65 and older; $10 ages 511; $9 each for groups of 10). Family packages (sold in groups of five): $7 per ticket. (Ticketmaster).

Rubin Center —

UTEP’s Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts is next to Sun Bowl Stadium (off Dawson Drive). Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Closed on Saturdays of home football games. Information: 747-6151, or Showing Jan. 21-Feb. 27: 2010 UTEP Department of Art Biennial Faculty Exhibition, featuring the most recent work from 28 members of UTEP’s accomplished art faculty. Artwork is in a variety of disciplines including sculpture, painting, drawing and graphic design. Dana FriisHansen, executive director at the Austin Museum of Art, met with each artist individually and recommended artwork to be exhibited.

Centennial Museum

— University at Wiggins, UTEP. Changing exhibits are

on the second floor, Lea and Discovery Galleries. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free. Information: 747-5565 or Showing Jan. 14-March 13: “Border Stories: Photographs and Commentary by Bruce Berman.” Berman has been documenting the US-Mexico border for three of his four decades as a professional photographer. He concentrates on the narrow stretch of land that encompasses El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Berman lives and works deep in the borderlands, three blocks from the international bridge connecting the two cities. Border Stories is the latest of his efforts to portray the border, beginning with the Border Project: 1985-2007 and the continuing Border Blog. These photographs, from what Berman calls the “City State of No Man’s Land” are part of his planned book.

‘New Shanghai Circus: Cirque Du Chine’ – 3 and 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 30, at The Plaza Theatre. The world famous Chinese Acrobats present their latest show. Athletes defy gravity and execute breathtaking feats as they stretch the limits of human ability in the New Shanghai Circus’ spellbinding show. Tickets: $33-$38 (children are $14.50) plus service charges. Family packs available; discounts for seniors and military. (Ticketmaster).

Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band — Show-

time! El Paso presents a tribute to music legend Neil Diamond at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, at the Abraham Chavez Theatre, featuring Diamond tribute artist Bobby Bruce on lead vocal and rhythm guitar. Bruce has spent the past 11 years rocking thousands of screaming fans world wide with his tribute to one of pop music’s most successful singer/songwriters. He has also toured with both the Las Vegasbased....CONT/PAGE 20

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Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band ... “Leg-

ends of Rock” in the United States as well its Australian counterpart. Tickets are $25 general admission; no advance sales. Information: 544-2022 or

National Latino Congreso Convenes

ACROSS 1 Seaweed substance 5 Landon, et al. 9 Cause horror 14 Michael’s “Disclosure” co-star 15 Potential measure 16 Cite 17 Wings 18 Operatic prince 19 Marry 20 Gleason role in “The Hustler” 23 Fog 24 Poitier role 25 Choose 28 “Lost Ark” seeker 33 ___ -fi 36 Banking convenience: abbr. 37 Clarence’s accuser 38 Leather-producing plant 41 Convinced 43 Heated offense? 44 Swiss river 45 Age units: abbr. 46 Sweet woman of song 51 Rams’ home: abbr. 52 Powerful D.C. lobby 53 Berlin composition 56 “A Room of One’s Own” author 62 Match site 64 Probability 65 Blackthorn 66 Kind of dressing 67 Food fish 68 Greek letters 69 Legends 70 Draft classification 71 Collectors’ goals

DOWN 1 First man 2 Very cold 3 Name in freezers 4 Wagner opera 5 Budget competitor 6 Golden Arches, e.g. 7 Driftwood, e.g.

8 Push to the limits 9 Greenish blue 10 Usual fourth-down play 11 Calamine lotion target 12 Bar member: abbr. 13 “To Kill a Mockingbird” author 21 Dusk, to Browning 22 Monk’s title 26 Diminish, with out 27 Former Russian rulers: var. 29 Org. founded in 1890 30 Par or van add-on 31 Clayton or Sterling 32 Singer Yoko 33 Male deer 34 Insertion mark 35 Not quite bankrupt 39 Postal-creed word 40 Part of the UK 41 Struggle 42 Pizarro’s quest 44 Give up 47 Participle suffix 48 Song-like passage 49 Opposite of ENE 50 Rope loops 54 “The Prince of Tides” star 55 Act self-satisfied 57 Move at a snail’s pace 58 Stadium approvals 59 Inactive 60 On the briny 61 Admit, colloquially, with up 62 Pitcher’s asset 63 “Everything Is Beautiful” singer Stevens

— The annual event that brings together Latinos from all walks of life to create a united Latino agenda on a variety of issues is Friday through Sunday, Jan. 29-31, at Camino Real Hotel, El Paso Street. This year’s topics include Justice for Immigrants, Climate Change, Saving homes and Creating Jobs. Reservation deadline is Jan. 25. Registration: $50 per day; $150 three-day pass. Information/registration: or The Congreso first broke new ground in 2006 with delegates representing more than 260 endorsing organizations and individuals from 20 states creating a platform of 70 resolutions.

UTEP Department of Music — Perform-

ances are 7:30 p.m. in the Fox Fine Arts Recital Hall, unless otherwise listed. Tickets: $5 ($3 seniors/military/non-UTEP students; free for children, unless listed otherwise. Information: 747-5606 or • Luke Franco, guest flutist — Friday, Jan. 29. Franco and rhythm company bring together the stylistic worlds of jazz, contemporary, and avant-garde through vibrant free improvisation and extended flute teck.

‘Good Vibrations: The Ultimate Tribute to the Beach Boys’ — The Beach Boys

tribute band performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29, at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino’s Signature Showroom. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets: $16; available at the track’s gift shop or Club Fiesta. Information: (575) 8745200.

UTEP Men’s Basketball - Home games are at the Don Haskins Center. Game time is 7:05 p.m. Tickets: $9-$25. Information: 747-5234 or • Wednesday, Feb. 3 — Houston 8 p.m.

‘Billy The Kid and Other Dance Icons’

— Feb. 4-7 at UTEP’s Wise Family Theatre. The UTEP Department of Theatre and Dance showcases its dance department in a unique concert Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $9-$12. Information: 747-5118 or

SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO ‘Godspell’ — NoStrings Theatre Company presents one of the world’s most successful musicals Jan. 15-31 in the Black Box Theatre. Godspell is based on the Gospel of Matthew and boasts songs such as “Day by Day” and “Prepare Ye The Way of the Lord.” Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24 and 31, and 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28. Tickets: $7-$10. Information: (575) 523-1223 or

Steve Smith and Chris Sanders — The

Las Cruces bluegrass musicians perform house concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, as part of the Las Alturas House Concerts. Potluck and socializing begins at 6 p.m. Cost: $15. Information/reservations: Lee (575) 522-5197 or

Spencer Theater for Performing Arts —

Airport Hwy 220 in Alto, N.M. (about 12 miles north of downtown Ruidoso). Free public guided tours are 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays (except show dates). Information: (575) 336-4800, (888) 818-7872 or • Moscow Festival Ballet’s ‘Cinderella’ — 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30. More than 50 dancers from throughout Russia star in Prokofiev’s ballet classic based on the familiar fairy tale. Tickets: $56-$59.

The societal becomes personal as Saturn, the lessons planet, forms a stressed relationship with Pluto, the planet of construction and deconstruction. This aspect indicates changes that help us move toward a new way of being. The teaching methods of this planetary aspect may be uncomfortable, though it's a necessary part of growth. Like a baby cutting teeth, the discomfort will soon be replaced with new tools and abilities. ARIES (March 21-April 19). The world will play to your strengths this week if you know what they are. Some of your assets are readily recognizable and you use them all the time. You have additional resources that are so obvious to everyone else, and yet you are not seeing or using them. Ask for the opinion of trusted friends. TAURUS (April 20-May 20). It’s not enough to say this week will start off well. It is exploding like a cork from a bottle of champagne! Whoop it up. It is appropriate to celebrate the progress, even if you cannot find an official milestone to blame for the party. You don't need any reason more official than that life is good and you feel great about it. GEMINI (May 21-June 21). Changing your ringtone or the outgoing message on your answering machine can seem like such an insignificant effort, but sometimes shifting the smallest details can jog loose new possibilities in larger spheres. Make a few seemingly superficial changes and be surprised at the results. CANCER (June 22-July 22). Good things happen to cheerful people. No one needs to tell you that, though. It’s basic to your personality to be upbeat. So don’t be too surprised when the thing you’ve been hoping for happens at the end of the week. Taurus is somehow connected. Stay positive and the positive will stay with you. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). One way to look at vanity is that some people are bold enough to enjoy themselves to a greater degree than are others. Timid folks are seldom vain, and neither are they as entertaining to those around them. Which would you rather be? You'll experiment with both roles this week and find a comfortable middle ground. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Since the only thing certain in life is change, there is no such thing as a perfect plan. There will always be unexpected information, strange twists and things you never could have taken into consideration. So plan ahead, but don't get married to those plans. And build wide margins of error into your schedule this week. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). There's a lot to talk about — much of it delicious and not all of it kind. It would take a superior human being to resist this kind of gossip. And you are just such a person. Vow to show restraint. Be nice, and don't pass along any mean news about acquaintances. Don't join in when the talk is nasty. You'll be a social hero. SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). You are sure of yourself. Because of your deeply rooted inner confidence, you really don't see the need to be right all the time. You might even apologize in order to help someone else (who is clearly in the wrong) save face. Your graciousness will be noted by someone who shares your high level of class. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). You strike a difficult balance. You blend in, but you're still very much an individual. You will be able to turn down your intensity in order to match the vibes around you. This causes others to let down their guard and receive you warmly. And when it's appropriate, you turn the intensity right back up again. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). There is a difference in sensibility between you and a colleague or customer. You can bridge the gap with a sense of playfulness. It's not that you make a joke of things, but you approach with a light heart and a large capacity to be amused by your interactions with others. Humor wins out in the end. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). As you look around, you'll find that there are very few equally balanced relationships. Someone always gives more, but it always works out somehow. Usually that person is getting more, too, from other people in other ways. To live in a state of generosity is a gift to one's own spirit.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). You have been cared for throughout your life, and yet in some ways you were not tended to in an ideal manner. That's why there are some gaps to fill in by taking part in extreme self-care. Create a quiet ritual for yourself this week, one that lets you feel utterly nurtured, and hold it sacred.

SPOTLIGHT 311.JAN 29,2010:SPL 1/27/10 3:58 PM Page 21


Flav rs

7-DAy MENU PLANNER by Susan Nicholson enjoy BLUEBERRIES (fresh or frozen). SHOPPING LIST: rotisserie chicken, refrigerated mashed potatoes, packaged Caesar salad, whole-wheat rolls, blueberries.

WEDNESDAy (Budget) -- BEEF AND NOODLES is a low-cost dish with an Asian flair. Cook 8 ounces multigrain thin spaghetti according to directions. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add 1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef. Cook 4 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink. Add 1 small thinly sliced green bell pepper, 4 thinly sliced green onions, 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper and 1 teaspoon sugar; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; mix in 3

Sunday's Beef and Guacamole Super Bowl "Spread." Photo courtesy of Wholly Guacamole.

SUNDAy (Family) -Invite the family to a Super Bowl watch party and enjoy BEEF AND GUACAMOLE SUPER BOWL "SPREAD" (see recipe). Serve the layered dish with TOMATO BASIL SOUP and BAKED TORTILLA CHIPS. Include a bowl of TROPICAL FRUITS to go with the CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES for dessert. PLAN AHEAD: Save enough cookies for Monday. SHOPPING LIST: canola oil, red bell pepper, onion, canned black beans, fresh jalapeno pepper, cumin, salsa, reducedfat sharp cheddar cheese, package refrigerated spicy or classic guacamole, reducedfat sour cream, lean ground beef, tomato basil soup, baked tortilla chips, tropical fruits, chocolate chip cookies. MONDAy (Meatless) -BARLEY WITH MUSHROOMS, RISOTTO-STYLE (see recipe) is great for a no-

meat meal. Serve it with a SPINACH SALAD with hard-cooked EGG WEDGES and MULTIGRAIN ROLLS. Munch on the leftover COOKIES for dessert. SHOPPING LIST: olive oil, sliced crimini mushrooms, package quick-cooking barley, green onions, vegetable broth, salt, pepper, parmesan

cheese, fresh spinach, eggs, multigrain rolls.

TUESDAy (Express) -Buy a take-home ROTISSERIE CHICKEN for tonight. Pair it with refrigerated MASHED POTATOES, a packaged CAESAR SALAD and WHOLEWHEAT ROLLS. For dessert,

tablespoons each stir-fry sauce and fresh lime juice. Drain spaghetti; add to skillet and toss to combine. (Adapted from Family Circle magazine.) Serve with a LETTUCE WEDGE and SESAME BREAD STICKS. Sliced PEACHES are your dessert. SHOPPING LIST: multigrain thin spaghetti, canola oil, lean ground beef, green bell pepper, green onions, fresh ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper, sugar, stir-fry sauce, limes, lettuce, sesame bread sticks, peaches.

THURSDAy (Kids) -The kids won't be able to resist MEXICAN PASTA SKILLET for dinner. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons canola oil on medium. Add 1 pound ground turkey breast and cook 6 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in 1 cup salsa, 1 (8-

ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cups water. Heat to boiling. Stir in 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni and 1 cup frozen corn. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 12 to 15 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Stir occasionally. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup 50 percent reducedfat cheddar cheese. Cover; let stand 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve with CHOPPED LETTUCE and warm fat-free FLOUR TORTILLAS. KIWIFRUIT is for dessert. PLAN AHEAD: Save enough turkey/pasta mixture for Friday. SHOPPING LIST: canola oil, ground turkey breast, salsa, no-salt-added tomato sauce, elbow macaroni, frozen corn, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, lettuce, fat-free flour tortillas, kiwifruit. Continues on next page

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crusty rolls, carrot cake.

FRIDAy (Heat and Eat)

SATURDAy (Easy Entertaining) -- Your guests will give SHRIMP PICCATA (see recipe) a thumbs up. Serve the flavorful shrimp with BROWN RICE, fresh BROCCOLI SPEARS, a RED TIPPED LETTUCE SALAD and GARLIC BREAD. Leftover CARROT CAKE is a perfect dessert. SHOPPING LIST: flour, nosalt-added lemon-pepper blend, medium or large shrimp, olive oil, garlic, white wine, fat-free chicken broth, lemon, capers, butter, parsley, brown rice, fresh

-- Make STUFFED PEPPERS tonight. Use any color bell peppers (cored with seeds removed, bottom intact) and microwave them, cut side down, 1 minute on high (per pepper); drain. Fill peppers with heated leftover turkey/pasta mixture and serve. Add steamed ZUCCHINI and CRUSTY ROLLS. For a special dessert, try CARROT CAKE. PLAN AHEAD: Save enough carrot cake for Saturday. SHOPPING LIST: any bell peppers, zucchini,

broccoli, red tipped lettuce, garlic bread. **

THE RECIPE BEEF AND GUACAMOLE SUPER BOWL "SPREAD" (Sunday) Makes 18 (1/2 cup) servings Preparation time: 25 minutes; refrigeration time: 2 hours to overnight Cooking time: less than 6 minutes, plus beef 1 tablespoon canola oil 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed black beans 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeno pepper 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1 cup salsa 2 cups 50 percent reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided 1 (7-ounce) package refrigerated spicy or classic guacamole (see Note) 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream 1 cup cooked 95 percent lean ground beef Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet until hot; add bell pepper and onion. Cook 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in beans, jalapeno and cumin. Cook 3 more minutes. Transfer 1 cup mixture to food processor or blender; cover and process until smooth. Return processed mixture to remaining bean mixture and stir. Spread mixture into an 8by-11-inch baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours to overnight. When ready to serve, top bean layer with warm, cooked beef and 1 cup shredded cheese. Evenly layer salsa, then remaining cheese and top with guacamole. Spoon sour cream into a resealable plastic bag. Snip off small corner and carefully pipe sour cream over the guacamole to resemble yard lines on a football field. Create goalposts at each end using dental floss or rubber bands and oversized Popsicle sticks, wooden skewers, straws or cardboard cutouts. Note: For testing purposes only, I used refrigerated Wholly Guacamole. Per serving: 120 calories, 9 grams protein, 5 grams fat (40 percent calories from fat), 2.7 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 18 milligrams cholesterol, 294 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

mushrooms 1 (11-ounce) package quickcooking barley 1 bunch green onions (white and green part), trimmed and sliced 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Add mushrooms. Stir and cover. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally or until mushrooms give off liquid.

veined medium or large shrimp (tails on) 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cloves minced garlic 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons capers 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Uncover and cook 4 minutes, or until browned. Stir in barley and onions. Add broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Cover; reduce heat to low and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan and remaining oil. Per cup: 235 calories, 8 grams protein, 6 grams fat (21 percent calories from fat), 1.6 grams saturated fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 652 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Add shrimp and cook 2 or 3 minutes; turn and cook 1 more minute. Remove shrimp to a plate. Add garlic to skillet and cook 30 seconds. Stir in wine, broth, lemon juice and capers. Bring to simmer. Add shrimp and cook 1 minute or until heated through. Remove from heat; whisk in butter and stir in parsley. Serve immediately. Per serving: 216 calories, 19 grams protein, 10 grams fat (43 percent calories from fat), 4.4 grams saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 183 milligrams cholesterol, 412 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.





(Monday) Makes 7 cups Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: about 20 minutes 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided 12 ounces sliced crimini

(Saturday) Makes 4 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: less than 10 minutes 3 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon no-salt-added lemonpepper blend 1 pound cleaned and de-

Combine flour and pepper blend in a shallow dish. Toss shrimp in mixture until coated. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium.

** Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by e-mail: menuplanner(at)mindspring.c om. The Menu Planner is also accessible at COPYRIGHT 2010 UNIVERSAL UCLICK

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Roll to a coil


olf is best played on the inside rims of your feet.” Jack Nicklaus said it, but he received this advice from his teacher, Jack Grout, who got it from Alex Morrison, the scion of much instruction that is accepted today. Morrison was one of the first to emphasize the importance of rolling the ankles in the golf swing.

How it works The ankle is a hinge joint with a range of motion that allows the leg to move inward toward the center of the body while the foot remains essentially in place — a key move in a correct backswing.

Rolling onto the inside rim of the front foot allows the lower leg of Nicholas Thompson to slant toward his back knee, which in turn allows the front hip to rotate.

This rolling motion is rarely used in everyday movement since it is much more natural to lift your front heel and knee in line, a habit ingrained from walking. This is why so many golfers simply lift their front heel and knee straight up during the backswing, thus ruining their coil.

Roll your ankles On the backswing, your left ankle (right for left-handers) folds inward toward the center line of your body in response to the pull of your front knee as it moves behind the ball. The knee should move inward rather than directly upward. SEE PAGE 26

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A sound body calms the mind Researchers at Princeton University reported recently that the brains of rats who exercise handle stress better than those who don’t. Basically, exercise gives the rats biochemically calm brains. This finding is huge for golfers because it suggests that you can protect yourself from mental (perceptual) stress by undergoing the physical stress of exercise. The benefits of exercise for golf are obvious when it comes to increasing your stamina, strength and flexibility, but the new research cuts at a much different angle. Apparently, the brain’s plasticity allows it to experience one kind of stress, i.e. the physical stress of exercise, then grow a shield that extends protection to a different class of stressors — psychological stressors such as water on the right and bunkers to the left. Now, while the research did not deal specifically with golfers, it implies that with effort you can rewire your brain so it’s insulated from stress by using physical exercise. “It’s pretty amazing, really, that you can get this translation from the realm of purely physical stresses to the realm of psychological stressors,” says Michael Hopkins, a graduate student at Dartmouth who has been studying how exercise affects emotions. The second interesting finding is that the inoculation against psychological distress has an incubation period, so the decrease in stress occurs sometime after you exercise. At this

point not even the experts know exactly how this information translates into structuring a detailed program of exercise for humans — how many weeks at what level of exercise will trigger the anti-stress benefits — but the message is clear: If you want to play “calm golf,” keep exercising.


Mud in your eye There are a few situations in the rules that prevent you from cleaning your ball. Rule 21c says that when a ball interferes with play (other than on the green), the ball may be marked and lifted but not cleaned. The procedure is as follows: You mark then lift your ball and hold it very dainty-like with a limp wrist so you don’t knock any mud off. Then replace it exactly as it was. As for planning a shot with mud on the side of the ball, here’s some advice: It goes the opposite way. If mud is on the left side of the ball, it will spin to the right and vice versa. This doesn’t always hold true because the mud can fall off at any point, but it’s slightly better than a guess.

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“I will say it’s definitely going to be even more important now to make sure you miss on the correct side.” RORY SABBATINI on the effect of the new groove rule after the first tournament of the year in Kapalua. DON’T MISS IT

At the right angle How the face of your club is positioned affects how well you’ll hit the ball, and if you’re having trouble feeling where your clubface is during the swing (and who doesn’t?), Don’t Miss the Face Angler, a teaching aid that allows you to see what’s happening to the clubface by simply looking at the handle. The Face Angler fits in the vent hole in the grip of the club. Twist it so that it is on the same plane as the clubface, and you can easily monitor the face’s position throughout your swing. You can find the Face Angler for $6.95 at


Hung it out

A golfer who attempts to play a draw but hits a straight shot instead is said to have hung it out.

ROLL TO A COIL Continued from page 23

ABOUT THE WRITER Dr. T.J. Tomasi is a teaching professional in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Visit his Web site at

Glen Day chooses to raise his front heel, but he still rolls onto the inner rim of his front foot.

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By RICK MINTER / Cox Newspapers

Victories by Chevrolet in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, the most of any manufacturer

DAYTONA 2010 SCHEDULE: Daytona Shootout, Feb. 6 (Fox); Daytona Duels, Feb. 11 (SPEED); Daytona 500, Feb. 14 (Fox)

Mark Martin still chasing

The last trophy

51-year-old recharged by strong fulltime return in 2009


everal years ago, when Mark Martin was nearing the end of his years of driving for Roush Racing, he invited members of the media to his personal shop near Daytona Beach, Fla. After lunch was served and the

tables cleared, there were still several media types hanging around, and Martin asked if they would like to see some of his racing and personal memorabilia. Martin walked the reporters through the building, pointing out

the significance of the items there. There was a handwritten note from his father, telling Mark the finer points of flying his twin-engine airplane. Most would have provided a pilot with an official manual,..Continues on page 30 NASCAR

Mark Martin ran a partial schedule for two seasons before returning full-time in 2009, when he finished second in points behind Jimmie Johnson.

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It’s SHO-time! Ford’s hot-rod Taurus. As the story of the Ford Taurus has had its share of ups and downs, occasionally there has been a little side story to the family sedan. In 1989, three years after the initial Taurus launch, Ford conceived the Taurus SHO – a sleeper performance sedan powered by a 220-horsepower Yamaha-sourced 3.0 liter V6 engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. Named for its Super High Output engine, the SHO complimented the Taurus lineup until slow sales saw it expire in 1999, despite Ford replacing the V6 engine for a V8. Now for 2010, as we get an all new Taurus, we also see the return of the SHO. A few months ago, I reported on the all new Taurus and mentioned that it was bigger and easily the best Taurus Ford has ever made. Now take that same car, toss in Ford’s hot new EcoBoost engine, add in all-wheel drive and you’ve got the 2010 Ford

goes – now! And once at cruising speed, a slight dip into the throttle makes the SHO feel like an airplane taking off. There is no doubt the new SHO is very fast and quiet. Maybe even a little too quiet.

Taurus SHO. The EcoBoost engine, which is the foundation of the new SHO, is a 3.5 liter direct-injection twin-turbocharged V6 engine that delivers 365 horsepower and 350 poundfeet of torque. Clearly the definition of Super High Output has changed over the years – the last SHO made a ‘whopping’ 235 horsepower from a V8 engine. Unlike the original SHO which came only with a 5speed manual gearbox (an automatic was later offered) this new SHO comes only with a 6-speed automatic and is cou-

pled to a standard all-wheel drive system (AWD) – a first for the SHO. The drivetrain, along with the EcoBoost engine is good enough to move the SHO from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.2 seconds, easily making it the fastest Taurus ever and putting it in the mix with the Chrysler 300C SRT 8, Dodge Charger SRT 8 and BMW 550i. Driving a 2010 Taurus SHO across the state of Texas, I found out that it runs at illegal speeds quite well without a hint of turbo lag or tire squeal. There isn’t even much of a rumble to the exhaust – the car just grabs and

Ford claims the EcoBoost engine gives V8 power with V6 fuel economy. They are not kidding. There is no doubt that the twin-turbocharged V6 can hang with, and even beat most V8s out there. And the EPA rates the SHO at 17 mpg city / 25 mpg highway –

that’s just off the base Taurus by 1 and 3 mpg respectively. There is not much on the exterior that makes the SHO stand apart from a mere mortal 2010 Taurus. Your biggest clue will be at the rear where a modest decklid spoiler and dual chrome exhaust tips can be found. Closer eyes may notice the discreet badges, the black brake calibers and the darker three-bar grille - seems as though Ford wanted to keep the word ‘sleeper’ in the definition when describing the new SHO. Inside, there are minor SHO touches such as the aluminum trim instrument panel, special leather seats with suede inserts, aluminum pedals and special sill plates. As with the last Taurus I tested, the

SHO has a handsome interior. Along with the twin-cowl dash, the center stack waterfalls into the dashboard giving the interior a cockpit feel. All the buttons are logically placed and easy to understand. And the materials used for the dash and console are some of the best I have seen Ford use. Then there is the trunk – it’s massive. Groceries, luggage and anything else you put in there easily get lost in it. At more than 20 cubic feet, it is almost twice as large as some of its competitors.

Because the previous-generation SHO has had such a strong following, Ford says they listened to and consulted SHO enthusiasts during the development of the new model. Will they be pleased with the results? Well let’s see: The 2010 Taurus SHO is the fastest SHO ever, built on the biggest and most comfortable Taurus ever, and maybe the best looking as well. What more could you want? Ok – maybe a better exhaust note and a manual transmission. But for now, SHO lovers should be happy that the SHO is on.

Darby named the new director of competition One of the few surprising announcements on the annual NASCAR media tour was the word that the Sprint Cup Series is getting a new director. Officials announced last week that John Darby has been promoted to managing director of competition. In his new job he will oversee the directors of the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series, officials, inspection processes and race officiating. He will keep his current job until a replacement is hired. One name being talked about as a potential director is that of veteran crew chief Larry Carter.

Hamlin injures knee

- Christopher A. Randazzo

By The Numbers:

2010 Ford Taurus SHO AWD Base Price: $37,170.00 Price as Tested: $43,285.00 Layout: front-engine / all-wheel drive Engine: 3.5 liter twin-turbo V6 (EcoBoost) Transmission: six-speed automatic Horsepower: 365 hp Torque: 350 ft-lbs EPA Fuel Economy:17 mpg city / 25 mpg highway [Questions/Comments/Feedback can be sent via email to]

Hamlin Denny Hamlin, whose late-season run in 2009 makes him a favorite to challenge Jimmie Johnson for the Cup championship this year, tore the Anterior Cruciate Ligament in his left knee playing basketball last week. A team spokesman said surgery is being put off at this point to keep from interfering with his Cup duties, which begin in less than two weeks. Continues on page 30

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Mark Martin... Continued from page 27 ... but the hand-written note was more in tune with his father’s style. There were trophies and fire suits and such from his days racing in the American Speed Association, and there were similar spoils of victory from his years in the Cup and Nationwide series. But Martin confessed that day that he didn’t really see the trophies as he walked past them. He was still too busy chasing the next one. His time for reflecting on his career would have to come later, in another phase of his life. Martin went on to run a partial schedule for two seasons, then returned full-time in 2009, posting remarkable results. After a dismal start, he bounced back to win five races including one in the Chase, lead the standings for a time and ended the season as runner-up to Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

Recently, Martin was asked if his time off made him look at his trophies in a different light. He said he still doesn’t really see them, but the brief respite has made a big difference. For much of his Cup career, he sometimes seemed like the unhappiest and most pessimistic driver in the garage. Now the opposite is often true. He attributes much of the change to the time he took to recharge his batteries, so to speak. “What it did do was really make me appreciate the time, the thrill, the excitement, the experience I had, the enthusiasm and electricity I felt for my race team, not only in Victory Lane, but every day I got to work with them,” he said. “It’s all those people that I got to work with, all the good times.” He said people may have tired of hearing him say how happy he was last season, but

he makes no apologies. “I used to be Mr. Not So [Happy and Optimistic],” he said. “People complained about that too. But my life is good. Everything is good. I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing. “I love being at the race track and working with people. I’m excited to get to Daytona and see all the

Continued from page 28

Ragan’s crew shuffles

David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 Ford at Roush Fenway Racing, is starting the season with a new crew chief, Donnie Wingo, and an all-new crew for the most part. With Roush dropping the No. 26 team, Wingo’s old outfit, to meet the NASCAR minimum of four teams per owner, the company has undergone some significant personnel shuffling, Ragan said. He said most of his new crew members came over with Wingo from the 26 team. “[Wingo] is our head guy, he’s our crew chief, he’s our team leader and he can bring in who he feels like will make our team better,” Ragan said, adding that one key addition is that of Loren Ranier, who will be his spotter. Ranier previously did that job for Jamie McMurray when he drove the No. 26.

competitors and see the fans again. “Those two years were critical in me fully appreciating all that.” Now, at age 51, in what is most certainly the twilight of his driving career, he’s poised to win the Cup championship that has always eluded him. “I am more ready today than I was a year ago right now,” he said. “I know that my race team is more ready than they were a year ago right now. I know our pit stops are faster than they were a year ago right now. I know that we have a better understanding of our race cars than where we were a year ago right now. ... We hadn’t even run a race yet a year ago. ... “Those things I do know. I’m not Mr. Optimistic, I’m not Mr. Pessimistic, I’m Mr. Realistic. And realistically speaking, I can’t tell you what the result will be in 2010, but ... we are better than we were a year ago. I just don’t know how much better our competition is.”

Harvick: Nationwide, trucks healthy

Kevin Harvick, who fields teams in the Camping World Truck Series and in the Nationwide Series in addition to driving in the Sprint Cup Series, said the overall health of those two series seems good even in a tight economy. He pointed out that rules put in Harvick place last year lowered operating costs for truck owners. “It’s become more affordable to race, and I think the series is going to be as healthy as it’s ever been with Kyle [Busch]’s two or three teams coming in…” he said. “I know we had a couple teams that fell out, but I think there's more quality teams this year than there has been in a long time.” He said the Nationwide Series also is going to be OK even though team owners will have to absorb the cost of introducing a new Car of Tomorrow.

Bowyer OK with shrinking RCR

Clint Bowyer said that Richard Childress Racing’s drop back from four Cup teams to three, losing the No. 7 Casey Mears team, isn’t all bad. He said RCR seems to function better with three teams, even though Mears got great reviews from his teammates. “For whatever reason, whether it’s the management or whatever else … I just have a feeling that three cars are going to be better for our organization,” he said. It has been in the recent past. In both 2007 and 2008, RCR placed all three of its drivers, Bowyer, Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick, in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Last year none of the four made it.

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NASCAR relaxes rules for restrictor plate races Hours before last fall’s Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR officials, fearing a crash-fest, cracked down on bump drafting and push drafting, warning there would be penalties for drivers who hooked up in a bumper-to-bumper tandem, which would allow them to pick up several miles per hour but possibly endanger themselves and their fellow drivers. The result was a race that was non-eventful for the most part, but it turned into a wreck-fest at the end, with several drivers, including Mark Martin, crashing hard on the frontstretch on the final lap. Martin rolled his car two times. But many fans and media members labeled the race as “boring.” NASCAR officials

were listening, and last week several new rules changes were announced, including a relaxation of the rules restricting aggressive driving at the two tracks, Daytona International Speedway and Talladega, where restrictor plates are used to slow speeds. Bump drafting rules have been shelved, and the restrictor plate openings have been increased to 63/64 inch. The extra power is intended to give drivers more power to make moves on the track. NASCAR chairman Brian France said in announcing the changes that while the emphasis in recent years has been on driver safety and the development of the Car of Tomorrow, the goal has now changed. “Over the past 10 years we've dramatically increased

safety, and that mission continues,” France said during a press conference that was part of the sport’s annual media tour. “However, it’s time for us to allow the drivers to drive. We don’t want the rules and regulations to get in the way of great racing and fantastic finishes. “NASCAR is a contact sport. ... Our history is based on banging fenders.” Listening to Mark Martin’s comments on the issue, it’s not clear whether fans will notice a great difference. “Based on the way we wrecked [at Talladega] last time, I don’t see how much worse it could be allowing bump drafting,” he said. “Certainly it will lend itself to creating more accidents, but it will be hard to have more there than last time. From a



Drivers who have won the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona by leading only the final lap (Rusty Wallace, Neil Bonnett, Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jarrett and Kevin Harvick)



Sprint Cup races hosted by Kansas Speedway with the running of this year’s race


Career Sprint Cup starts for David Reutimann (above) when he takes the green flag for the Daytona 500

perception standpoint, it was perceived that [the bumpdrafting ban] took some of the excitement out of the race. So if you put that back, no matter what, it won’t be to blame for that.” Martin said the complaints after Talladega came largely because most drivers spent the biggest portion of the race simply trying to get to the end without wrecking, something that’s difficult to do when racing in a pack of cars, twoand three-wide and a dozen or more deep. “Drivers are just wanting to make it to the end without wrecking so they can have a chance to win,” he said. “You can’t win if you’re crashed out.” NASCAR also confirmed that it was replacing the wing on the rear of the car with a

spoiler like the one on the conventional cars that were raced before the introduction of the Car of Tomorrow.

Kurt Busch Kurt Busch said the spoiler will lead to tighter racing and

bigger packs of cars. Ryan Newman said it should keep cars from becoming airborne if they get turned around backward at speed, something that had become a problem with the wing. NASCAR officials say they hope to keep the downforce numbers about the same as they were with the wing, to keep from upsetting the overall balance of the car. A full-field test is set for March 23-24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Other changes coming this season include a limit of 15 crew members at the track per Nationwide Series entry, the use of double-file restarts in the Camping World Truck Series and a return to traditional pit stops for the truck series. Last year, teams made separate stops for fuel and tires.

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Spotlight EP News Jan 29, 2010 No. 311  
Spotlight EP News Jan 29, 2010 No. 311  

Spotlight EP News weekly edition newspaper serving the El Paso, TX and surrounding areas. Articles Include; Calendar of events , automotive...