• The Mesilla Valley Audubon Society hosts free beginning bird walks at Tellbrook Park on the third Wednesday of each month, guided by a member of the Mesilla Valley Audubon Society. Observe the ever-changing birdlife that lives and visits here. The birding will be done from the paved path that winds through the park; however, if there is interest, they may also make a short (optional) excursion into the surrounding desert.
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at the entrance to Tellbrook Park at 4290 E. Winchester Rd. in the Las Alturas area. Bird walks will last about an hour. These walks are appropriate for beginners. You do not need prior experience to enjoy it. Although not necessary, a pair of binoculars will greatly improve how well you see the birds. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring drinking water. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
• Desert Writers, a program open to Doña Ana County writers age 55 and older, meets Wednesday mornings from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite Street. They are seeking new members who write fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Each week authors share work in progress, followed by comments from writer mentors and other group members, who include both published and unpublished writers. Visitors are always welcome. There is no cost to participate. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Las Cruces Ukes, a community group of ukulele enthusiasts, invites ukulele players of any skill level to their Thursday practices. A “strum for fun” session takes place from 5:15 – 6:15 p.m. and the performance group prepares for upcoming performances from 6:30 – 8 p.m. There is no charge to be part of the group. As of this month, the group will be practicing in a new location: Good Samaritan — Las Cruces Village, 3011 Buena Vida Circle, in the Social Center’s Creative Arts Room. More information at lascrucesukes.blogspot.com or by e-mailing email@example.com.
• The Breast Cancer Support Group of the Community Foundation meets the fourth Saturday of each month from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Medical Center Annex Building, 2450 S. Telshor, located on the west side of the main entrance (look for signage). Each month’s speaker and topic varies. Meetings are free, no registration is required, and they are open to all who are interested in health and wellness. For more information, call 524-4373.
• The Cruces Apple Users Group (CAUG) group will meet at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 14, at the Administration Building of DACC, on the corner of South Espina and Gregg Streets, Room 114 (parking on Gregg Street). This month’s agenda includes a “What’s New With Apple” discussion and a tutorial on using Mac “Photos.”
CAUG welcomes anyone interested in learning and sharing information about their Apple products. If you have questions or you’re looking to talk with other Mac users, please come. CAUG meets on the second Saturday of each month.
Presentations and tutorials are part of the group’s activities. Additional information at cauglc.org or by contacting Louise Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The New Mexico State University Library has released a 2017 calendar, Visions of New Mexico. The calendar’s theme showcases archival and contemporary photographs of various landscapes from the Land of Enchantment. The calendar’s theme is unique in that traditional archival photographs from the library’s Archives and Special Collections Department are still featured, while contemporary photographs featured were submitted and donated by community members.
Calendars are being sold for $10 and are available on the second floor of NMSU’s Zuhl Library, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. or in the Caroline E. Straus Research Room on the fourth floor of Branson Library. For more information or to place an order, contact Erica Bautista at 646-1508 or email@example.com.
• Popular vocal group Remember Then will headline a benefit performance on Sunday, January 29, at the Rio Grande Theater at 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Las Cruces American Association of University Women (AAUW), the production titled One for the Girls will support scholarships and programs for local young women. Two groups from Michele’s Dance Academy, the Las Cruces Chamber Ballet, and Showstoppers, will complete the program. All tickets for the show are $20 and are available online at riograndetheatre.com or by calling the box office of the Rio Grande Theatre.
Individual and business sponsors are also sought to support the program that will help fund projects including AAUW’s annual Girls Can! career day, now in its 23rd year showing sixth-grade girls of Doña Ana County possibilities for a bright future. Funds will also go toward AAUW’s Tech Trek NM, a week-long collegiate program giving eighth grade girls hands-on experience in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. To find out more about becoming a sponsor for One for the Girls, contact Beverly Chambers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Southern New Mexico New Progressives (SNMNP) will hold their next monthly public meeting Saturday, January 14, from 2 – 4 p.m. in the Roadrunner Room (upstairs) of the Branigan Library in Las Cruces. The topic of the meeting will be Planning the Road to Our Future Together: a Call to Our Membership. All members and others interested in learning about the organization are urged to attend.
The agenda for the meeting will include a short panel discussion about Health Security in New Mexico and a campaign to ensure automatic comprehensive health care coverage with the ability to choose healthcare providers for all New Mexicans. An election of a chairman and co-chairs of the group will follow. All members are invited to participate in the election. For information about the group’s mission and membership, email email@example.com.
• Area residents can show their support for law enforcement by placing free yard signs on their properties that read “I support law enforcement” with artwork of the American flag. The first run of signs has been distributed and a second order has been submitted.
Mayor Ken Miyagishima proposed the project at a City Council meeting that followed the fatal shooting of a Hatch police officer on August 12 and an Alamogordo police officer on September 2. Both officers were killed while on duty.
“The signs are for all members of law enforcement,” Miyagishima said. “It is a way for us to thank and support our women and men who work to ensure our safety every minute of every day. Theirs is a difficult, dangerous job and we need to stand behind them as entire communities to let them know we have their backs.”
The 18 x 24 inch, two-sided signs will be available at no charge in the lobby of the Las Cruces Police Department, 217 E. Picacho Ave., and at the information booth in the lobby of City Hall, 700 N. Main St.
Regular hours for both locations are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday. The limit is one sign per property.
• El Caldito Soup Kitchen is in need of volunteer gleaners to assist in food collection. The organization has a van that is used daily, as well as a group of regular volunteers who have organized routes and times to pick up food from various businesses. They are specifically in need of a pair of gleaner volunteers on Saturdays, but other days are also in need of replacement assistance as regular volunteers go out of town or become unable to help. The hours are approximately 7:30 – 10 a.m. and they would be trained by current volunteers who do the route. Gabe Chavez, president emeritus, is the contact person and he can be reached at 644-8737.
• La Piñon is seeking additional advocates. It is the only full-service sexual assault response agency in southern New Mexico, providing comprehensive sexual assault recovery services for sexual abuse victims and their families. Located in Las Cruces and serving Doña Ana County, they also provide services in Truth or Consequences, Deming, Lordsburg, and all areas of southern and northern Doña Ana County. All services are bilingual and bi-cultural. They are not mandated to report to law enforcement when victims over the age of 18 want to receive counseling services or just talk to someone.
The next advocate training will take place January 21 – 28. Applications are due by January 9.
More information by calling 526-3437.
Minimum qualifications for advocates are:
— Be 18 years of age or older
— Successfully complete the 40-hour training
— Pass background check
— Have transportation readily available
— Be able to commit to at least six months of oncall services
— Be able to sign up for at least four shifts per month
— Ability to work with diverse individuals and groups
— Ability to be caring, supportive and non-judgmental
— Ability to work in a client-driven environment
— Ability to be part of a first response team
• Project Save a Kitten is preparing for its March 2017 fundraiser. This year’s “cat-chy” event will be a jewelry sale. Many of us have lovely jewelry pieces that we never wear — this is an opportunity to donate them for a good cause. They also would like donations of jewelry boxes, small decorative items, lace and linens, and other small treasures.
If you have items to donate, contact them for pick up or drop off at Better Life Pet Foods at 365 Avenida de Mesilla through February. If you don’t have any treasures to donate, but still want to help, they will accept cash for the kitty as well.
To donate or for more information, contact Jackye at Project Save a Kitten at 323-0903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Las Cruces Ukes, a non-profit organization, will host the Las Cruces UkeFest May 19 – 21, 2017. The festival will include professional instructors including Jim Beloff, author of the Daily Ukulele and many other music books; Heidi Swedberg, an indemand instructor and performer; Daniel Ward, who will teach techniques that will help your fingers fly on the fretboard; and Danielle Ate the Sandwich, a indyfolk performer/instructor from Colorado. The festival will take place at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, kicking off with a concert Friday evening, workshops all day Saturday and Sunday morning, and a jam session Saturday evening at their host hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn.
The Friday evening concert will include a few songs by the Las Cruces Ukes and then highlight the instructor/performers, including Jim Beloff ’s wife and co-author, Liz. The Saturday and Sunday workshops will provide attendees the opportunity to learn skills at a variety of levels, from beginner to more advanced. The Saturday evening jam session, under the guidance of Jim Beloff, will be a fun way for everyone to play songs together.
Loaner ukuleles will be available for those who are just beginning their ukulele journey.
More information about the festival can be found at lascrucesukefest.com and the event Facebook page, facebook.com/lascrucesukefest.