Native Storytelling at the NMAI Rasmuson Theater

February 22, 2011

The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. will present The ECHO Project (Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations) performance of Celebrate – Song, Dance and Story! It takes us on a journey down life’s paths – from childhood to love and marriage and beyond. “Through these songs, dances, and stories of challenges and triumphs, we learn the cultural values of these communities – whether about respect for ancestral ways or the dangers of jealousy and vanity.”

Dates: Feb 25 & 26
Time: 11 a.m. -12 noon
Categories: Celebrations, Demonstrations, Kids & Families, Lectures & Discussions, Performances
Co-sponsor: Presented in partnership with The Peabody Essex Museum, The Bishop Museum, The Alaska Native Heritage Center, The Inupiat Heritage Center, and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Venue: American Indian Museum
Event Location: Rasmuson Theater
Cost: Free.
For reservations for student groups, please call 202-633-6644 or
TTY 202-633-6751.

Visit Echospace for more info. This page has several videos of musical instruments from several different cultures. Personal and family values are illustrated and learned through cultural stories. Do take the family to experience this special performance if you are in the D.C. area this weekend!

Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

C-300 Kick-Start Party 2-16-11 for Long Beach Grand Prix

February 14, 2011

Even though the 2011 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is two months away (April 15-17), the City Council will talk about the course this coming Tuesday and the Committee of 300 will host the annual Kickoff Party this Wednesday. Harry Saltzgaver reports the details at

Time: Wednesday, February 16 · 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Hotel Maya
700 Queensway Drive
Long Beach, CA 90802 map
Facebook Event Created By: Kelly Stortz
More Info:

The Committee of 300* invites you to an evening of fun as we celebrate the kick off to the 37th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach!

Bring your friends and business associates to the gorgeous Hotel Maya. Situated just feet from the water and with a breathtaking view of the city’s coastline, this venue is the perfect location to appreciate why the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is the must-attend event each year.

Enjoy Complimentary Hors d’Oeuvres, live band, silent auction & no host bar. Proceeds from this event benefit this year’s charity, the Historical Society of Long Beach!

RSVP’s are kindly requested. No cost to attend.
Facebook Event RSVP here

For more information about this event or the Committee of 300, please call the C300 office at (562) 981-9200 or visit us on the web at

* The Committee of 300 is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and the City of Long Beach, CA. Known as “Redcoats” for the attire they wear, the C300 staffs and participates in community events, the Los Angeles, Orange County and Belmont Shore Car Shows. Participation in non-race community services events is encouraged and members are known to show up in force all over Long Beach to lend a hand!

Check out ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

Great Backyard Bird Count Begins February 18

February 13, 2011

Kids can count the birds in the backyard! The February 2011 California Least Tern Newsletter of the El Dorado Audubon Society had an article on the Great Backyard Bird Count to be held February 18-21, 2011. This would be a great classroom or family activity! Here is an instructional video all about what you would need to do from the website of the GBBC (Great Backyard Bird Count). Here’s How to Participate. Here’s GBBC for Kids!

News Release:
February 8, 2011—Blackbirds made the headlines when a flock of thousands fell from the skies in Arkansas on New Year’s Eve. Now bird enthusiasts across the continent are counting the birds—not just blackbirds, but birds of more than 600 species—in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. During February 18–21 the event will create an instantaneous snapshot of birdlife across the U.S. and Canada for all to see.

Anyone can help by tallying birds for at least 15 minutes on any day of the count. At, you can enter the highest number of each species seen at any one time and watch as the tallies grow across the continent. Coordinated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Bird Studies Canada, the four-day count typically records more than 10 million observations.

Last year’s participants reported more than 1.8 million American Robins, as well as rarities such as the first Red-billed Tropicbird in the count’s 13-year history.

“Whether people notice birds in backyards, parks, or wilderness areas, we ask that they share their counts at, ” said Judy Braus, Audubon’s senior vice president of Education and Centers. “It’s fun and rewarding for people of all ages and skill levels.”

“When thousands of people all tell us what they’re seeing, we can detect changes in birds’ numbers and locations from year to year,” said Janis Dickinson, director of Citizen Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

“An isolated event such as the dead birds in Arkansas may be within the range of normal ups and downs for an abundant species like the Red-winged Blackbird,” Dickinson said. “But the count can serve as an early warning system for worrisome declines in bird populations that result from more widespread problems.”

Dickinson said past GBBC counts showed a drop in reports of American Crows since 2003, coincident with some of the first widespread outbreaks of West Nile virus in the U.S. Once ranked among the top 4 or 5 most frequently reported species, crows are still among the top 10 birds reported in the Great Backyard Bird Count but they have dropped in ranking since 2003. This “signal” is consistent with data from the more intensive Breeding Bird Survey, as well as studies demonstrating declines of 50–75% in crow populations in some states after outbreaks of West Nile virus.

Maps from the count have also captured the paths of migrating Sandhill Cranes and recorded the dramatic spread Eurasian Collared-Doves. Introduced to the Bahamas in the 1970s, the species was reported in just 8 states during the 1999 GBBC. A decade later, it was reported in 39 states and Canadian provinces.

“I have joined the Great Backyard Bird Count for the past three years and am really looking forward to doing it again,” said participant Kathy Bucher of Exira, Iowa. “I really enjoy nature and bird watching. My mother and I share updates on the birds we see. It’s a fun hobby to share with a loved one!”

For more information, including bird-ID tips, instructions, and past results, visit the birdcount website. The count also includes a photo contest and a prize drawing for participants who enter their bird checklists online.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is made possible in part by sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.


• Miyoko Chu, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, (607) 254-2451 (Eastern Standard Time),

• Delta Willis, Audubon, (212) 979-3197 (Eastern Standard Time),

• Dick Cannings, Bird Studies Canada, (250) 493-3393 (Pacific Standard Time),

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit membership institution interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s website and the All About Birds Bird Guide.

Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world.

Bird Studies Canada administers regional, national, and international research and monitoring programs that advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats. We are Canada’s national body for bird conservation and science, and we are a non-governmental charitable organization.

National Audubon Society
225 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014
Call: (212) 979-3000

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Call toll-free (800) 843-2473

Bird Studies Canada
Box 160
Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0 Canada
Call: (888) 448-2473 or (519) 586-3531
# # #
Grandpa Ron and I have a Red-tailed Hawk, Harris Hawk and Northern Harrier that like to visit for dinner. They perch on the wall outside a window. I captured 2 pictures of the Harris Hawk before he had enough of me and flew off.

… and we always have quail, unless they are hiding…

Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

THE RED COATS ARE SEEING GREEN: Veteran’s Park Clean-Up by Committee of 300

February 12, 2011

Grandpa Ron and Grandma Sue are members of the Committee of 300, a non-profit all volunteer group dedicated to supporting the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, CA, and performing Community Service for the citizens of Long Beach. This morning Grandma Sue and Grandpa Ron participated in the first ever Veteran’s Park clean-up in Long Beach, CA, with several other Committee of 300 and community members. We had a fun time actually! I think there might be some photos posted soon at the Committee of 300 site. If so, I’ll link to them. The Committee of 300 is also known as “The Red Coats” because of their signature red attire. Here’s an example photo.


Committee of 300 Boasts Partnership with City of Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine
to Adopt Veterans Park and Announces First Park Clean Up Event

LONG BEACH, Calif., Feb. 4, 2011 – The Committee of 300 of Long Beach is excited to announce its partnership with the City of Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine by “adopting” Veterans Park located at 101 E. 28th St. The first park clean-up will take place on Feb. 12 at 10:00 a.m. and will continue on subsequent second Saturdays of every month.

6th District Councilman Dee Andrews is joining in the celebration of the partnership and will be on hand as will representatives from Councilman James Johnson’s office whose district the park borders.

“This year our board of directors has placed a strong emphasis on community service, and we’re very thankful to have gotten the support from city council members as well as from the Parks, Recreation and Marine department to help us make this happen,” said Committee President Salvador Farfán. “This is a great opportunity to make a positive impact in the community.

“We hope that by our being out there, the residents and business owners in the surrounding neighborhoods will join us and get to know one another while doing some good. The fact that it gives our members yet another opportunity for service and lets the public know that our organization is active year round is just the icing on the cake.”

The Committee of 300 has been the volunteer group associated with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach from the inception of the race. The famed “Redcoats” can be seen on race weekend as ambassadors to all things race-related as well as to the city of Long Beach. The rest of the year C-300 is THE premier volunteer group in Long Beach, volunteering on an ongoing basis with a number of non-profit organizations in addition to the yearly selection of one non-profit to be the recipient of funds raised by the Committee throughout the year. This year’s recipient will be the Historical Society of Long Beach. Last year the Committee raised nearly $5,000 for the Steel Magnolias of the Stramski Center.

For more information on the Committee of 300, visit or call (562) 981-9200.

Salvador Farfán, C-300 President 2010-11
562 397-5674
Cheryl Portugal, C-300 Executive Assistant
562 981-9200

The Committee of 300 website tells about the Long Beach Grand Prix race.

Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl VII to Air (12 pm PST/3 pm EST) on Superbowl Sunday

February 5, 2011

A cute version of ‘football’ will be on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb 6, at 12 pm EST on Animal Planet. Puppy Bowl VII will air complete with a Kitty Half-Time Show. Meet the players, see highlights from previous years and get behind the scenes on the Animal Discovery Puppy Bowl VII website!

Highlights from last year

Player Stats on the starting lineup are here.

Tail-gate Party info here.

Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

Reno’s Rink on the River

February 4, 2011

This weekend is the last one for Reno’s Rink on the River! It closes on Sunday! If you haven’t had a chance to check out your skating legs yet, go for it! The kids will have great fun!

Hours for this last weekend:
6pm – 11pm today
11am – 11 pm Saturday
11am – 6 pm Sunday

Adults: $7
Kids (3-12): $5
Seniors (55+): $5

Skate rentals are $2

For more info, here is their website: Rink on the River

Check out other ideas and activities to do with kids on by the author of the award-winning children’s book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too!

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