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April 21 – May 4, 2012


Cosmic project funding may create legacy

The family and friends of Howard

Israel are pursuing funding for a proposed Solar System Walk at Veterans Oasis Park. The local resident, 78, an avid amateur astronomer and one of the first instructors at the park’s Environmental Education Center (EEC), was diagnosed with lung cancer last year and is currently at home under hospice care. The project, conceived to honor

Israel, involves a set of monuments representing the sun and each of our neighboring planets. The monuments would be placed at distances approximating the relative scale of the solar system along a 2,500-foot sidewalk pathway circling the park’s lake. It would also include several interpretive signs, a self-guided tour brochure and a podcast, designed to present park visitors with a better understanding of our place in the cosmos. “My father has always been curious

and he’s been devoted to many areas of study and practice,” says Israel’s daughter, Sharyn Younger of Chandler. “But I never saw anything match his love of the night sky.” Israel is a past vice president of the East Valley Astronomy Club, a group which conducts “Star Parties” at Veterans Oasis Park. Over the years he developed a series of multimedia

presentations he taught at the Arizona Science Center, during cruises on the high seas, as a volunteer with Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff and at the EEC. Completion of the Solar System Walk

is dependent on raising the necessary funds, which Younger estimates at approximately $15,000. The family is soliciting donations from family members, friends and others who share Howard Israel’s interest in astronomy. The East Valley Astronomy Club is a project partner and has established an account for the tax-deductible donations, and representatives of Lowell Observatory and Kitt Peak National Observatory have provided support. Donations are also being sought from local businesses and corporations. “We’re asking for the help of people and businesses who value science and can see the educational benefits of a project like this for the community,” says Younger. The family is hoping to secure the

necessary funds quickly, so the project can become a reality while Israel is still well enough to participate in a dedication ceremony at the park. More information, including donation details, is available at

Teens learn about community leadership

Chandler teens ages 14 to 17 have until Fri., April 27 to apply for Chandler’s free

Leaders in Training (L.I.T.) program, which provides them with an opportunity to work alongside City staff and gain valuable work experience and leadership skills. The program runs June 4 through July 13. The six-week course places selected youth in a professional work environment within

the City of Chandler organization, where they perform meaningful work with a mentor who facilitates the development of their job skills. Participants gain hands-on work experience by assisting mentors with day-to-day activities at various job sites including recreation programs. Participation is voluntary; teens do not receive payment. The program’s work week begins from 1 to 3 p.m. on Mondays with job skill and

leadership development workshops presented by members of the local business and government community. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday teens work four-hour shifts, 8 a.m. to noon or 1 to 5 p.m., for a minimum of 12 hours per week. Participants may also attend optional field trips. The L.I.T. application can be downloaded from or picked

up at the Chandler Community Center, Snedigar and Tumbleweed recreation centers, the Environmental Education Center, all Chandler libraries and all Chandler high schools. For more information, contact the L.I.T. coordinator, Teo Ruiz, at 480-782-2746 or

Family fun featured at Fire’s open house A day of fun, education and

information is planned at Chandler Fire Department, 211 N. Desert Breeze Blvd., 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat., May 12. The free event aims to educate residents about fire services and to share tips on safety, fire prevention and emergency preparedness. In addition to tours of the station,

there will be fire truck and apparatus demonstrations, drowning prevention information and children can experience getting out of a smoke-filled

environment at one of the displays. The department’s mascot will also be there, as well as balloons, popcorn and fire helmets for children. Residents can learn more about

various volunteer opportunities, fire cadet program and Community Emergency Response Teams. The open house will also feature instruction on Hands-Only CPR. For more information, call 480-782- 2120 or visit

New Vistas School

Arizona Top 10 480-963-2313

670 N. Arizona Ave., Suite 35 Chandler, AZ 85225

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