By Mary O’KEEFE
From art to science and everything in between was found amid the foothills this past weekend. Here is a brief wrap up of what the community was doing:
Bright and early Saturday morning cyclists donned their helmets and rode Foothill Boulevard during the Discover Foothill event. Pop-up tents lined the lower parking lot of the La Crescenta Library with information on education, summer programs and bike safety.
Crescenta Valley Town Council and the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition sponsored the event. The purpose, according to coordinator and CVTC member Robbyn Battles, was to get people out of the house and into the community. New bike lanes had been established along Foothill Boulevard from Briggs to Pennsylvania avenues. The city of Glendale has approved bike lanes from Pennsylvania to Lowell avenues. Organizers of Discover Foothill felt this was the time to go over a few rules of biking, make certain bikes were safe and to introduce the community to this healthy transportation choice.
California Highway Patrol Office Ming-Yang hsu, Crescenta Valley Sheriff Deputy Jorge Valdivia and Glendale Officer Matt Zarkarian were on hand to answer questions about bike safety and the new lanes.
“We encourage use of the bike lanes and not to ride on the sidewalk,” Officer hsu said. “We have had two recent collisions with kids on bikes riding on sidewalks.”
The first involved a woman being hit as she walked out of a local Foothill Boulevard business.
“She had just walked out of the door [of the business] when the bike hit her and knocked her down. The [person on the bicycle] kept riding,” he said.
The woman had a chipped tooth and had other minor injuries.
“The second accident was [last week]. A kid was riding his bike on the sidewalk [south] on Briggs Avenue. A home-owner was backing out of a driveway when the bike hit the side of the vehicle. Witnesses said the kid on the bike was going very fast down the hill. There [appeared] to be nothing the driver could have done. The child was transported to the hospital,” hsu said.
He added to keep bike safety and bike laws in mind and to use the new lanes.
Part of bike safety includes the bike itself. Jonathan Livesay and Will Katzman from Montrose Bike Shop checked chains and brakes of bikes as they pulled up to their makeshift parking lot repair shop.
Livesay said it was important to keep bicycles in working order, to check the chains and the brakes regularly as well as tires.
The day continued with an art exhibit at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and a historical walk hosted by the Crescenta Valley Historical Society.
For those that weren’t biking there was walking to be done – lots of walking at the Relay for Life cancer fundraiser held at Clark Magnet High School.
The event was the end of a long fundraising journey for over 30 teams. Tents were pitched in the middle of Clark’s field and team tables were set up. The walking began about 9 a.m. with a survivor’s lap. Then for the next 24 hours there was a constant stream of walkers.
We don’t sleep because cancer never rests, said organizer Reagan Boone.
The day continued with local businesses donating food and water and teams continuing to raise money. Saturday evening the supporters gathered for the emotional luminary walk. Throughout the day people took pen in to hand and wrote names of loved ones who had survived and those who had passed from the disease onto white bags. They decorated them drawings, pictures and cutouts. The bags were filled with sand and a single candle was lit. Participants were given candles to hold as they walked around the track and as a bagpipe played. [NAME]
By Sunday morning over $100,000 had been raised by teams of the Foothills Relay for Life.
This weekend was also for space and science aficionados as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory opened its doors to the public. This annual event allows the visitors an unprecedented view of what is happening both in space and Earth science. There was the customary booth “Ask a Martian” which answered all questions pertaining to the red planet. There was the robot exhibit, the recycle center that gave examples of different ways to recycle and why this is a habit everyone must start and there was the wobble effect.
People, mostly kids, would climb a ladder where they would hold onto the top of a pole that went through a planet. At the end of the pole were a pen and a piece of paper. The person on the ladder would circle the pole and the planet creating circles on the paper. The JPL representativie in charge of the expirement would then add a couple of moons to the side of the planet and the drawing would begin. The circles now had a little bump in them.
“That is a wobble,” said the JPL scientist.
Any orbiting planet and star pair have a common center of mass. Since stars are larger than planets the center of mass is usually somewhere near the center of the star but usually just enough off center to make the star appear to wobble. When a planet is orbiting the star it pulls at that center which makes it appear to wobble more. The larger the orbiting planet is, the larger the wobble appears. Scientists in the discovery of planets use this.
Three and a half-year-old Teresa Carbone was very interested in the wobble affect. She listened intently to the scientist and climbed up the ladder. She held the pen and with all her might turned the planet. She was very proud of her wobble creation.
When asked if she wanted to be a scientist when she grew up she held up her science artwork and answered, “Yes!”
Over 36,000 people visited JPL over the weekend.