Saturday, August 1, 2009

NM Media Roundup

From KRQE: Kids Star in Studio Adoption Videos
Reporter: Kaitlin McCarthy
Web Producer: Bill Diven
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - New Mexico kids and teens looking for a good home and a family to love them had the chance to share their stories on camera Friday while getting star treatment at Albuquerque Studios.

The Adoption Exchange , a nonprofit agency, taped video profiles of 15 children and teens so prospective parents can see their faces, hear their voices and get to know them better.

The adoptable young people sat in director’s chairs under bright studio lights to share their personal stories.

“These children very seldom get star treatment, and they deserve star treatment," Bill Williams of The Adoption Exchange said. "All of them have suffered some type of abuse and neglect, and it's time that they get a special treat every once in a while."

The kids brought a different type of celebrity feeling to the studio, Nick Smerigan, Albuquerque Studios chief operating officer, said.

“The movies and the television shows we do here are very exciting, and we love having them here," Smerigan said. "It's a great experience for everybody, but this is really, really fulfilling for us." ...
For the full story and video visit: Kids star in studio adoption videos

School of Dreams Academy Opens

From the Valencia County News-Bulletin: School of Dreams Academy to open with 125 students on Tuesday
Friday, 31 July 2009 17:14

There's truth to the name.

The time has finally come for Valencia County's first and only charter school "the School of Dreams Academy" has made 125 dreams come true as newly enrolled students anxiously await their first day of school this Tuesday.

"The biggest excitement will be to work with kids and put a human element to the dream," School of Dreams Academy Principal David Yates said.

"This is something new and something we believe in that will have a positive impact to not just the school but we see ourselves as pioneers and making a different model of education...opening up new opportunities for people."

With a capped enrollment of 125 students, six teachers, one full-time security guard, a part-time nurse and full-time administrative assistant, the school year is fully staffed and ready to go.

Yates said two of his teaching staff of six worked with him when he was principal of Manzano Vista Middle School last year.

Each teacher, Yates said, is a specialist in a particular focus-area of SODA and is highly qualified in the subjects they will be teaching.

"I feel very positive about them," he said. "The way (the staff) fit together was critical but these people – they collaborated and stood out way, way above the rest."

Because SODA is a fine arts academy, special emphasis will be placed on digital media and visual arts and the school's permanent home will have all the equipment necessary to allow students to incorporate the digital arts in their everyday learning experiences, even with subjects, Yates said, that are not typically seen as "artsy," like science and history.

Students may be required to create science projects or history presentations using digital and visual arts equipment, and students will be taught how to incorporate music, images and video to enhance their projects.

SODA's digital lab will be 100 percent state-of-the art MAC based with only the most sophisticated digital equipment.

In addition to SODA being largely computer and digitally focused, the school will also focus on community service with students taught how best they can serve their own town and county...
More at: School of Dreams Academy to open with 125 students on Tuesday

Film industry is good for local economy

Alamogordo Daily News
Tony Mandalia, General manager, Best Western Desert Aire, Alamogordo
Posted: 08/02/2009 12:00:00 AM MDT

Contrary to what has recently been published in the Alamogordo Daily News and other sources, I believe the film industry's presence in New Mexico has an unprecedented positive impact on the community and the state.

As an hotelier in Alamogordo, I have seen and benefited from the film industry in New Mexico. In having discussions with other hoteliers, I have learned that this is not the only hotel that has benefited from film. The overall economic impact studies seem to be inaccurate because they do not take into account the number of times the dollars spent here change hands in the local community.

For example, not only did we experience our highest revenue in the history of this hotel in 2008, but we also were able to employ and pay out wages to employees in record amounts just the same. My employees can only earn more when there is more work to be done.

I can also speak for restaurants in the area such as Chili's and Applebee's, whom also benefit largely from local film production. When discussing the impact with restaurant managers, they concur that sales are significantly lower when films are not in production. In turn, they report record sales when films are being made locally.

Local film productions generate way more than what they cost, and we should continue to push for more films in New Mexico. The community and surrounding areas thrive off the dollars spent here, as film has grown to be a key element to our local economy. Let's not take this away.

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