Downtown Artist Market • Holiday Hours of Operation
The Downtown Artist Market will be open on

Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, 2011 from 9a.m. – 1p.m. for
last minute gift shopping. The Downtown Artist Market will be closed Saturday December 31st and January 7th and will

re-open every Saturday from 9:00am-1:00pm on January 14, 2012. The weekly market, located on Anthony Street and San Francisco Avenue, features artist vendors, food and FREE arts and crafts activities for

kids. The event attracts El Pasoans and visitor’s downtown and provides opportunities for local artists to sell their work. Artists and food producers interested in vending must attend an orientation and should contact or call (915) 541-4481.

Code Inspectors to Issue Parking Citations
El Paso, Texas – Code Enforcement inspectors now have the authority to issue parking tickets, the City of El Paso Environmental Services Department announced. An ordinance amendment to Title 12 adopted earlier this month by City Council empowers inspectors to issue parking citations. Fines will vary depending on the parking violation. Before the change only police officers could issue citations for all parking violations. Though the ordinance amendment is now effective, the Environmental Services Department will provide a short grace period before the citations are issued to allow for public outreach. Code enforcement inspectors will begin issuing parking citations in January 2012. In the meanwhile, they will continue to issue warning notices for parking violations while patrolling neighborhoods within the city limits. “Every day our code enforcement inspectors encounter parking violations and they leave warning notices. Unfortunately, sometimes notices are not enough to change public behavior,” Environmental Services Director Ellen Smyth said. “Now, our inspectors will be able to respond to the violations by ticketing vehicles, particularly those obstructing the public’s access to sidewalks, blocking driveways or parked on unapproved surfaces, such as lawns.” The public may report violations by calling 915599-6290.

Public Utility Commission Dismisses El Paso Electric Appeal
El Paso, Texas-Today (December 15,2011), the Public Utility Commission (PUC) considered the City’s motion to dismiss and the stay requested by the El Paso Electric. By a unanimous vote, the PUC approved by a 30 vote to dismiss the El Paso Electric appeal. The PUC agreed with the City that the City has original jurisdiction under state law and the PUC rules and that the appeal was premature. The PUC also agreed that once the City has made its final decision on the rates, then the City’s rate order could be appealed to the PUC at that time. electric rates was on June 8, 2010 that became effective on July 1, 2010. In the last six months, City Council members raised questions about El Paso Electric Company’s financial operating statements over the last 12-18 months and the reasonableness of their electric rates within the city limits. Under State law, if the City has reason to believe that the electric utility rates may be greater than needed to provide a reasonable opportunity to earn a reasonable return, the Council can initiate an inquiry and order the electric utility to file a rate case within 120 days. On October 4, 2011 the City Council adopted a resolution ordering El Paso Electric to file a rate case by February 1, 2012. On October 27, 2011, El Paso Electric filed an appeal with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) after City Council initiated an inquiry and ordered the electric utility to file a rate case. The City filed its Motion to Dismiss on November 7, 2011, arguing that the City has not taken any final action that was appealable and that the appeal by EPE was premature. December 15, 2011 the PUC heard the City’s motion to dismiss

The last time Council approved

Welcome home brave American soldiers, your job is done in Iraq
By Joe Olvera, ©, 2011


The popular Christmas song, “I’ll be home
for Christmas, you can count on me. Please have snow, and mistletoe, and presents on the, I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams,” will have double meaning for thousands of troops returning home from the war in Iraq. Only it won’t be a dream. Thanks to President Barack Obama, who promised when he ran for President that he would bring all the troops home from Iraq, families applauded their loved ones and welcomed them in a profusion of pride and relief to the United States where peace and tranquility prevail. After nine years of a brutal war that saw more than 4,500 brave and courageous men and women dying to preserve freedom in Iraq - at a cost of almost $1 trillion - the survivors will return to parades, honors, and hoopla. But, not all is a bed of roses, as many survivors will have to undergo a tremulous return, many of them wounded in ways that can’t be seen. But, the war is over for all intents and purposes. While a few soldiers still remain in Iraq, the president has promised that all the troops will be home by Dec, 31, New Years Eve. A promise made – a promise kept. To that end, the last contingent of 500 soldiers climbed aboard 110 trucks to make the trip on the highway to Camp Virginia in Kuwait, to finally return home. Thus, from the beginning of the war on March 3, 2003,


some estimate it at 1.5 million U.S. and allied troops, were involved in the deadly fray. Even after Saddam’s statue was toppled on April 9, the situation did not change as Iraqi soldiers continued the battle. But, now, finally, it is over. Now, finally, Saddam Hussein is dead. To the troops now leaving Iraq, and to the families and loved ones waiting for them in U.S. bases across the United States, the end of the war has only brought joy, especially during this Christmas tide. Returning soldiers were met with tears, hugs and kisses from overjoyed wives and delirious children. This time, however, it will not be a dream, but, a reality that could not have come at a better time. Continues on next page

when then-U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell promised a display of “shock and awe,” meaning that a bombardment unlike anything seen before would befall Baghdad, the capital of Iraq; the hope was that a display of U.S. power would send the Iraqis scurrying and might even kill Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. It didn’t happen quite exactly as had been planned, so that hundreds of thousands,


Meningitis Vaccine Required for College Students

Welcome home...

Health Department urges immunizations in time for Spring Semester
El Paso, Texas – A new Texas law requiring all new students under the age of 30 to be immunized against Meningitis means some area students will need to update their vaccine records. Senate Bill 1107, also known as the Jamie Schanbaum and Nicolis Williams Act, will mean that incoming students at area colleges and universities will be required to provide documentation showing they have been immunized against the disease. The bill was named after two Texas college students who contracted the disease. Williams died as a result. “We want all students at area colleges and universities to not only comply with the new requirements, but also understand why vaccination is so important,” said Michael Hill, Public Health Director. “Freshmen college students, and those who live in dormitories, are especially susceptible to this disease,” he added. Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The severity of illness and the treatment for meningitis differ depending on the cause. Bacterial meningitis is usually more severe than viral, fungal, or parasitic meningitis. Although it can be very serious, bacterial meningitis can be treated with antibiotics that can prevent severe illness and reduce the spread of infection from person to person. About 1,000 cases of meningitis are reported annually in the United States, but more than 10 percent of these cases have resulted in the patient’s death. The last reported case in El Paso was in 2009. All first-time students, transfer students, and returning students who have taken the most recent long semester off from college must receive the vaccination at least 10 days before the first day of the semester they are enrolled in. Students who have gotten the vaccination during a five-year period preceding the start of classes do not need to be re-vaccinated. To learn more about the requirements or to check on vaccine availability, you can call 771-5733 or one of the DPH Immunization Clinics listed on our website:

Chente Quintanilla Column

Holiday Cheer and More
Before I bestow on you the seasonal greetings from my office and family, I would first like to share some information provided to me by the Lottery Commission Executive Director, Gary Grief. Last week, we received a very positive report on sales of lottery sales during the just completed fiscal year. Before the good news, just a little background information to set the stage. Texas voters approved the lottery back in 1992. When the first fiscal year was completed, the lottery proceeds, less the costs of doing business, were deposited into the general fund. This meant the legislature decided how much actually went to education. In 1997, the law was amended to dedicate all funds into the Foundation School Fund (FSF). The FSF is the main body of revenue from which the Available School Fund (ASF) is appropriated money. The ASF is the actual source that goes to the local school districts. From 1997 to 2010, the Lottery contributed over $13 billion to the FSF. As a matter of fact, the 2010 funds that went to the FSF totaled over a billion dollars in that year alone. The revenues generated in 2010 were at record levels. For the fiscal year 2011, sales of lottery products surpassed any previous levels and set a new record of $3.811 billion. The previous record was set in 2006 which produced $3.775 billion in sales. This fiscal year saw $963.1 million dollars injected into the FSF. In the past, many constituents have asked why the lottery doesn’t all go to education. In essence, it does. The sales that the lottery generates just do not reach a level that funds a great portion of education. The original intent was to supplement the property taxes; not to replace them. If not for the lottery, Texans would have had to pay almost $14 billion more in local taxes to fund schools at their current levels. I hope this information gives you a better understanding about the funding that the lottery generates for education. There is one thing that should be changed. The entire amount should be deposited into the Available School Fund; it would have greater benefit to school districts. Christmas Day is this upcoming weekend followed by New Year's Day the following weekend. Naturally and traditionally, the next few days are filled with family traditions and parties. There is also the heightened danger of excessive drinking by partygoers. I urge all of you who are reading this to be very careful during this time. Don't drink and drive. Be on the lookout for dangerous drivers. Protect yourself and your families by driving defensively and sober. But most of all, Robert and Nina join me, along with all of my family, in wishing all of you the best of the holiday season and a very merry Christmas Day.

Continued from page 3 From Fort Bragg, N.C. to Fort Bliss, TX, to Fort Hood, TX and other military bases, the killing and the dying is over. All across America, celebrations for the toppling of a dictator and revenge for 9/11 has been accomplished. Only the bittersweet taste of revenge remains. Continues on page 6

Chente Quintanilla
State Representative


By: “Doppler” Dave Speelman

Full Moons
I received an email from a reader asking about Full Moons and how we get them. We had our last full moon December 10th – called the “Cold Moon” because of the long, cold nights in December. Full moons are really neat. Why can't we have them all the time? Why is the moon never the same? The four different phases of the moon - first quarter, full, last quarter, and "new" moon have to do with the relative positions of the sun, the moon and the earth in the moon's monthly orbit of the earth. It can get pretty confusing because of all the different orbits and rotations; the moon orbiting around the rotating earth, the earth and moon orbiting around the sun. But remember; the light of the moon is actually the light of the sun reflecting off the face of the moon. The reason we don't see any light on the moon during a new moon is because the far side of the moon is getting all the light, while the side we see is cast completely in shadow. When we have a full moon it's because the moon is facing us AND the sun, so we see its light reflected fully. The other phases are the stages in between. We always see the same side of the moon. The moon rotates on its axis while orbiting the earth; it just does one rotation on its axis for each revolution it makes around the earth, so it keeps the same side facing the earth. There's an old saying calling the back side of the moon (the side we never see) the "dark side of the moon", but that's not really true. The next time Here are the traditional you see a "new moon", remember the dark side of the moon is getting all of the names given to each light, we just don't see it from earth. month's full moon: The moon is more than just a really cool night light for the sky. The gravitational pull of the moon actually bulges the water in the oceans out from the earth's surface toward the moon. The gravitational pull on the side of the earth opposite the moon is not as strong so the oceans don’t bulge on that side. This constant push and pull tug-of-war with the oceans by the moon is what causes the tides at the beach. So the next time you find yourself standing on a full, moonlight night on the beach, think about the moon trying to pull the water out of the ocean.

Weather Trivia:
If we could take a 747 jet and fly to the moon, how long would it take? A. 10 Days B. 14 Days C.26 Days D.1 Month
“Doppler" Dave Speelman is the chief meteorologist at KVIA-TV in El Paso. You can watch his forecasts at 4, 5, 6 and 10 pm on ABC-7 (channel 6 cable). If you would like Doppler Dave to address (explain) any weather issues you can email him at
Answer: C. It would take 26 days. The moon is about 250,000 miles away.

DEC 23



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Christmas DEC 25


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Partly Sunny
High: 50º Low: 29º

Partly Sunny
High: 52º Low: 27º

Mostly Sunny
High: 50º Low: 26º

Mostly Sunny
High: 53º Low: 32º

Partly Sunny
High: 54º Low: 28º

Partly Sunny
High: 50º Low: 31º

Mostly Sunny
High: 52º Low: 34º


Welcome home...
Continued from page 4 So, welcome home, brave and courageous men and women. Your work has been done in one part of the world. Unfortunately, however, other trouble spots remain. One can only hope that the Christmas wish of peace on earth can be fulfilled and that all wars will cease to exist; that the need for armies, for bombs, missiles, and other weapons of mass destruction will be no more. Would that the present-day war in Afghanistan, end quickly and successfully. Let no more American troops die in battle. Alas, one can only hope and pray that it be so..

“The Sin Fin Column”
by Joe Olvera

Christmas Eve was always special in the barrio
Christmas Eve in the barrio was always a special occasion for me and for my family. Even though there were eight of us kids living in a two room adobe tenement apartment known as a presidio, we all looked forward to the visit by Saint Nick, because we could see the presents under the tree. See, we knew that mom bought our gifts, but, we believed in Santa because she would tell us that the jolly elf delivered just one special gift to every little girl and little boy. That is, if they were good and not naughty. One of my favorite things to do when I was a little older, 13 or 14, was to attend Midnight Mass at Guardian Angel Catholic Church. There was something unique and different and beautiful about getting dressed in my brown wool suit handed down to me by my older brother, Nasario. It was a little big for me, but, mom had fixed it so that I could wear it for special occasions. Attending Midnight Mass was one such occasion. I would go all duded up, walking on Estrella to Alameda and to my appointed rounds. With the incense burning and the warmth of a packed temple, the hour would go way too fast. But, it didn’t matter because after leaving the church, feeling holy and good, I would make the trek to my darkened house. It was the house where the little red bulb burned, the red bulb that decorated the wreath which my mom would hang on the door every Christmas season. That was my guiding light, to see that red bulb burning made my humble house bright with joy. My mom would be busy at the stove, baking cookies and her little donitas – on which we would sprinkle sugar to make a delicious delight. The little Christmas tree would also be lit, the tree that she placed on a table by the window so that the neighbors could see. My mom loved Christmas. After I had grown and was attending college, Christmas Eve was still special for me. Too old to receive toys and other childish presents, I would go to my sister Peter’s house (yes, I had a sister named Peter) so that I could play with my nephews’ toys. They were still small and thanks to my sister’s generosity and, of course, her husband, Robert, they received a truck load of toys. My sister didn’t always appreciate my showing up at their house so early in the morning, but, my nephews loved me for it. Thus, all dressed up in my Sunday best, I would spend hours playing with Robbie, Danny, and Eddie. Christmas in the barrio was a joy to behold, as each little apartment glowed with decorations which neighbors, some too poor to afford such luxuries, made special efforts to make Christmas special for their children. My mother didn’t buy expensive gifts. I remember her buying me a basketball that would bounce so high, I had a tough time controlling it, but, if it wasn’t genuine leather, like other kids had, at least it worked and allowed me to play ball with my friends. Saving what little she could from her household allowance, she made a supreme effort to insure that her children wouldn’t go without. Too, she always borrowed money so that she could complete here gift buying. I remember one special Christmas when I found out that there was no Santa Claus. See, I was a tallish 11 year old and still believed in the fat man. My friends would tell me that he didn’t exist, but, I was adamant in my belief. Until that Christmas when I discovered where all our toys came from. My little brother, Simon, was only seven, and he still had high hopes. He wanted a red radio flyer wagon. My mom told him that Santa wouldn’t be able to bring him a new one because he had run out of them. But, she told my little brother, he could have my used one. With a little disappointment in his little face, he agreed that a used one would be just as good, perhaps. But, lo and behold, on Christmas Eve, I was still awake with one eye half-way closed and the other wide open to see what it would see. My then-brother-inlaw Tony walked in with a huge box and placed it under the tree. I saw him take a pen and write on it, “To Simon from Santa.” Well, I wasn’t going to be fooled anymore. I knew that Santa didn’t actually bring the toys. So, my friends had been right. In the morning, when my brother saw the huge box, with its message, he started yelling and shouting for all to hear. “There is a Santa Claus, there is a Santa Claus,” he kept saying to anyone who would listen. I was happy for him, but, unhappy for myself because, finally, I had learned the secret. There is no Santa Claus, but, there was plenty of love and expectation for all of us that Christmas morning. Taking my imitation leather basketball, I went outside to meet my friends and to see what they had received for Christmas. Bragging to each other about what we had received, Christmas Day passed and we played until it grew dark and I made my way to our little apartment – you know, the one with the red bulb shining on its door. With that, I leave you to your dreams and to your memories, with one important message: Merry Christmas to one and all and, may Santa make all your dreams come true. Sin Fin

Dress for New Year’s Eve on a Budget
Sharon Mosley Still have one more big party to attend? Is it the biggest evening of them all? New Year's Eve! Why not welcome 2012 in grand style...without spending all of your holiday cash. Sonya Cosentini, spokesperson for T.J. Maxx and Marshall's, has lots of tips on finding the perfect party outfit at budget prices. "Springing for a new dress or a fun, festive top that can be paired with other items in your wardrobe doesn't have to break the bank," she says. "And don't forget accessories that can be used to make that little black dress or pair of designer jeans more New-Year's-Eve ready!" Cosentini says, "Adding sparkle and shine always does the trick, whether it's with embellished footwear, clutches or even cocktail rings and bangle bracelets." Some of her favorite festive outfits for New Year's Eve include metallics and sequins. "Try a sequined camisole," she says. A funky skirt is another option. "Try a feather skirt with a colorful top and heels for a different look," she says. A colorful, one-shoulder dress is an attention-getter, too. "It may be cold outside," she acknowledges, "but once you get into the party, make a statement with a fun, new dress." Cosentini also suggests adding a pair of embellished heels. "Even if you aren't going to an over-the-top party, a pair of embellished shoes can dress up the most casual look." Statement jewelry is another way to dress up a party outfit, according to Cosentini, who, this year, likes oversized jewel necklaces, bangles or big cocktail rings. Here are more specifics from the T.J. Maxx and Marshall's expert on putting together a stylish look for the holidays:

For a Weekend Day Out:
• Animal print blouse •Faux fur trimmed vest •Skinny jeans •Knee-high, riding boots •Top if off with colorful leather gloves and a hat

“Even if you aren't going to an overthe-top party, a pair of embellished shoes can dress up the most casual look.”... Cosentini

For a Girls' Night:
•Lace detailed dress with a matching shrug •Oversized jeweled necklace • Heels with bows in a jewel tone •Top if off with a faux fur coat

For a Work Party:
•Belted sweater dress with dolman sleeves in a jewel tone •Chunky bangles •Wedge, suede booties •Oversized, Italian leather satchel handbag

For a Dinner Party:
•Detailed, pencil skirt • Embellished tank with a light, knit cardigan •Oversized cocktail ring • Patterned stockings • Booties with buttons, zippers or other details

For a Night on the Town:
•One-shoulder dress in red or black •Small, sparkly clutch •Dazzling statement earrings • Jeweled, sky-high heels

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.

Lace is one of the hottest holiday trends this year. A creamy lace dress from off-price retailer T.J. Maxx is just one stylish way of celebrating a festive party on a budget.



Tame Space With Warm Color and the Right Light
upholstered chairs, and those long windows. Use over-scaled furniture to fill up some of the wall areas, and harness the amazing power of light (chandeliers, table lamps, sconces, candles) to bring soaring space down to more human-size. In the grand dining room we show here (borrowed from a terrific new book, "The Decorative Carpet" and written by Alix G. Perrachon), top designer/author Bunny Williams has pulled out all the professional stops in order to tame the space and make it feel inviting Let's analyze her process. She used a cantaloupe color to warm the walls and bring them in closer to the dining table. She darkened the ceiling to make it look lower. She spread a room-maker of a silk-and-wool Tibetan rug almost wall-to-wall underfoot. Its over-sized, abstract animal print picks up the cantaloupe color at the same time it anchors that large dining table. Warm colors, a room-sized rug and low lighting from lamps set on the dining table, cozy-up a grandly scaled dining room. Photo: Fritz Von der Schulenberg Rose Bennett Gilbert Q: Our dining room is really large — 23 x 21 feet with 10-foot ceilings and long tall windows. You're probably going to tell me that it's a nice problem to have, but it is still a problem, making the room feel warm and comfortable when you have people in for dinner (we usually eat in the cozier family room). I hate to let such great space go to waste. Please advise. A: It is a nice problem because it's easier to solve than you think. Bring in color — lots of it, in warm tones. Add fabrics — cushy, sound softening and noise absorbing — on floors as well as William's also ratcheted-up the size of the furniture in deference to the height of the walls: The over-mantel painting is huge, but in perfect proportion to the wall space. She even perches a marble portrait bust on top of the already-tall bookcase.

DEAR ABBY by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: After 19 years of marriage, my husband left me for a younger woman. I found out later that they had been dating for several years. They moved in together immediately after our separation, and she was pregnant at the divorce hearing. They had a baby boy eight months later. At every event with my kids, they come together with their son and she steers the conversation to her life, what's going on, etc. I have tried to be silent and civil, but she ruined my daughter's high school graduation by gossiping and giggling behind me and the kids the entire event. I am trying not to be a bitter ex, but I have had to bite back some nasty words to both of them. Any suggestions on how to deal with a miserably blended family? -- BLENDED FAMILY IN BATON ROUGE, LA. DEAR "BLENDED" FAMILY: Yes, and please don't think I am without sympathy. The surest way to deal with your miserably blended family is to make a conscious decision to get on with YOUR life. If you're not interested in what the woman has to say, get up and move away. No one says you must listen to her prattle. Develop your own interests and activities, and meet some new friends. The stronger and more independent you become, the better off you'll be. Trust me. ** DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with "Anita" for four years. She moved in with me two years ago and our home life has been wonderful. We are a unique couple. We have discussed marriage, but neither of us believes in the tradition. I'd like to show Anita how much I love her, as well as show others we're in a serious relationship. An engagement ring would be a way to show it. However, the term "engagement" would not be accurate because we do not plan to marry. Can you suggest another symbol or even another term for a ring to show unity without indicating the eventuality of marriage? -ROMANTIC IN OHIO DEAR ROMANTIC: How about calling Anita's ring a commitment ring? Or give her a pendant with a sweet message engraved on the back? Or a wristwatch engraved with, "Love ya 'til the end of time," or "... 'til time runs out." Another way to indicate to others that you're together but don't believe in "tradition" would be to hold a commitment ceremony and invite friends. ** DEAR ABBY: There is an issue driving a wedge between my wife and me. I have always believed that my casual shirts (in fact, all my shirts) should be worn tucked into my slacks. My wife feels they should be left out. I think I look better with them tucked in. She feels differently. Abby, you can save our marriage if you'll let us know who is right. To tuck, or not to tuck -- that is the question. And, by the way, she says I should mention that I have a bodacious waistline, which means I could lose 40 pounds. - FRIAR "TUCKED" IN LONGMONT, COLO. DEAR "TUCKED": Your wife is your best friend and she is right. (If you doubt it, consult a men's haberdasher.) By leaving your shirt out, you would appear to be a few pounds thinner. When you tuck it in, your "bodacious" waistline is accentuated by a horizontal line, which makes you appear to be heavier. ** Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. ** Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 610540447. (Postage is included in the price.)

And don't miss her unusual choice of lighting fixtures: two large hanging lights for general illumination, supplemented by a pair of porcelain lamps on the dining table itself. They add a warm circle of light to each end of the table, creating a low, cozy mini-climate within the larger room space, where you can bet the dinner guests linger long after dessert. Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Manhattan Style" and six other books on interior design.

Live Today, Diet Tomorrow
Scott LaFee The biggest problem with dieting is that, well, you have to stick with it — day in and day out. But a new study presented at the recent San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium suggests cutting calories sometimes, in this case carbohydrates, may result in better weight loss than counting calories all of the time. British researchers said that women who eliminated carbohydraterich foods such as bread, pasta and potatoes from their diet for two days each week lost an average of nine pounds in four months, compared to women who had a 1,500-calorie, Mediterranean-style diet every day. (They lost just five pounds in the same period of time.) The researchers' goal was to develop a diet that people could stick with, particularly women with a high risk of breast cancer. Obesity is a known risk factor for the disease. Besides helping take pounds off, the intermittent diet also boosted other markers of health, including levels of insulin and leptin. The latter is a hormone that helps regulate appetite and is associated with tumor development.


EvEryday ChEapskatE by Mary hunt

EnErgy ExprEss by Marilynn prEston

Skip the Store’s Credit Card “Discount”

The Wrap on Wellness: Gift Yourself With Healthy Choices
I'm not suggesting that you call off Christmas or cancel Hanukkah and retreat into selfishness. No way. Santa forbid. I'm just saying that if you don't pay extra special attention to your own health and wellness this time of year — inhaling joy, exhaling tension — you'll burn out trying to care for others. exercise you get, the foods you eat, the stupid TV shows you don't watch, the anger you let go of — these are the conscious moves that dance you down the path to being the joyful, active, well-rested and easily loved person you long to be. Last week, we talked about giving gifts to others. I suggested that less stuff and more gratitude was the way to go. This week, I want to suggest five gifts you might give yourself this holiday season. fore: exerfind activities you enjoy and do them often enough so that NOT doing them feels bad. Then you're hooked. When you're hooked on regular exercise, life is very sweet. GIFT NO. 2: DAZZLE YOUR DENDRITES. The mind is a terrible thing to waste on Twitter and "Desperate Housewives." To keep your body vital, you must churn your brain with challenging activities. Do puzzles. Study a foreign language. Tutor a child. Play bridge. Take a course in bicycle repair. When you stop learning, your brain goes to sleep, and the next thing you know, you're dead. Continues on next page

Dear Mary: A friend lets stores issue credit cards so she can get special discounts, but she never activates them. Doesn't that still impact her credit rating? This doesn't seem wise to me. — Diana, Ohio Dear Diana: You're right. When she accepts the store's offer of a discount on her entire first purchase in exchange for just completing an on-the-spot application, that new credit account is alive and very active. It may take weeks to get the store's credit card in the mail. And it may come with instructions to call a number from her home phone to "activate" the card, but that has nothing to do with the account being active on her credit report. Those are simply security measures to make sure the card was not stolen en route. Trust me, all of her new accounts are very much alive and "active." She's going to have a rude awakening if and when she checks her credit score or applies for a loan in the future. Closing them, as difficult as that will be, is not a good solution, either. Just like opening new accounts, closing old ones will deal yet another blow to her credit score because closing accounts is as deadly as opening new ones (if you're a member of, read "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" in the online archives). Do you have a question for Mary? Email her at, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a personal finance member website.

Give, give, give. That's what the December holiday season can feel like. So let me give you permission to take, take, take some time for yourself to realize your own deep desire to be healthier and happier, more active, less stressed. It begins with your acknowledgment that you — not your doctor, your mate, your employer — are responsible for your health.

Your wellness isn't the result of a five-star medical plan or even good genes, though that helps. Yes, sickness and disease can get in the W.E.B. DuBois way and push us off course. But that doesn't change the essential truth that, for the Ok, I confess I've mentioned most part, you're in charge: The these things a zillion times be-

“The most important thing to remember is this: to be ready at any moment, to give up what you are, for what you might become.”—

cise more, eat smarter, stress less, blah-blahblah. The fact is, like Rudolph's hoofs on your roof, you can't hear this stuff enough. It's like yoga. You have to keep coming back to the same basic postures time after time, discovering something meaningful every time, until eventually it all sinks in and you wake up to your freedom to make smarter choices. When that happens, the struggle is over, the spirit is engaged, and suddenly you've joined a gym, lost 10 pounds and given up diet colas forever. GIFT NO. 1: GET MOVING. There is no substitute for moving your body, challenging your heart, juicing your joints. You can't fake exercise, you can't hire someone to do it for you, you can't avoid the badhealth consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. The trick is to

American-Made for the Holidays
Shawn Dell Joyce Americans, already cash-strapped from a sagging economy, are shelling out more than $22.9 million dollars this holiday season to buy toys for lucky little girls and boys. This $22.9 million would make a sweet bailout for U.S. toy manufacturers — if we actually had any. Unfortunately, most of that money is already on its way to China, where almost all toys that are commercially available in big-box stores are manufactured. Chinese-produced toys are far cheaper than their American-made counterparts, but are they worth it? More than 60 percent of the recalls issued this year and 79 percent of toys recalled last year by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission were from China. But those products were just a tiny drop in the flood of 17 million shipments of everything from Chinese organic produce to medicines and house wares. The flood of consumer goods from China has nearly

tripled since 1997, and the number of recalls has grown proportionately. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is deluged by this flood. The FDA has only 1,317 field investigators for 320 ports of entry. The agency inspects just 0.7 percent of all imports, half of what it did a decade ago. David Acheson, an assistant commissioner for food protection at the FDA, points out that it would be impossible to test all imports from China. "It's got to be based on risk," says Acheson. Continues on next page


Continued from page 9 GIFT NO. 3: RELISH REAL FOOD. You can't fool Mother Nature. She despises fake foods, processed foods, foods with additives and pesticides, foods that are genetically modified or artificially sweetened. It's everywhere, and it's toxic, and it's your job to read labels and resist. There is plenty of wholesome, delicious, real food out there. Find it, eat it in modest portions, and support the conscious people who grow it. GIFT NO. 4: STRETCH. As you age, your body grows tighter, less flexible. The good news is it's never too late to unlock a tense body and experience less pain and more energy. Give yourself the gift of s-t-r-e-t-c-hing any way and anywhere you can: at your desk, in your kitchen, at the gym. Don't say you'll try. As Yoda teaches, "Do, or do not. There is no try." GIFT NO. 5: THINK IT, DO IT, BE IT. Your thoughts influence your health to a remarkable degree. Negative thinking — I'm too fat, too lazy, too klutzy — gets in the way of making positive change. So do anger, jealousy, intolerance. Happiness is a choice. Hallelujah! You can learn to live your life with kindness and compassion. That's why yoga was invented. Meditate on that, not your flabby thighs, and awaken this holiday season to your body's natural desire to be healthy, strong and Cinnabon-free. ENERGY EXPRESS-O! DECEMBER IS FOR DIGGING DEEP Marilynn Preston — fitness expert, personal trainer and speaker on healthy lifestyle issues — is the creator of Energy Express, the longest-running syndicated fitness column in the country. She has a website, and welcomes reader questions, which can be sent to

47 Cornered 50 All Things Considered network 52 Highway hazard 53 Emergency road service org. 55 First shepherd 57 South Bend students 63 Incline 64 Christmas Island, e.g. 65 Invoice stamp 67 Mademoiselle 68 Nephric 69 Meanie 70 Marine's meal 71 Hidden humor 72 Compost item

1 ___ Moines, IA 2 Mesopotamia, today 3 Isaac's son 4 Middle Age 5 Start to phone 6 Elton John's ___ Girl 7 Jack, of TV's Easy Street 8 Weight deduction 9 Campfire treat 10 Pectoralis, e.g. 11 Old Peruvian 12 Bowl over 13 Male turkey 21 Fragrant resin 22 Bedbound 25 Pants measurement 26 Following

1 Carpe ___ 5 Counts calories 10 Rain forest feature 14 Highlander 15 Fakir's faith 16 Biblical preposition 17 Boxer Matthew ___ Muhammad 18 Mild cigar 19 Pond cover 20 Graham Green novel, with

The 23 Flourish 24 45 inches 25 Give up 28 Pinch 31 Most's opposite 35 Steep-roofed structure 37 Pants part 39 Fr. holy woman 40 Rocky Balboa's nickname 44 Film location 45 Brazilian resort, briefly 46 Small dog

27 Fit to be tied 29 Last name in journalism 30 Lay it on the line 32 All kidding ___ . . . 33 Boa 34 Belief 36 Listener 38 Space 41 Diarist of note 42 Also-ran 43 Candy on a stick 48 Philadelphia eleven 49 La Dee ___: 1958 song 51 Type of sleeve 54 Video game name 56 Evangelist Sunday 57 Rank's partner 58 Misfortunes 59 Route: L. 60 Taboo 61 Wise guy 62 Take on 63 Tailor's edge 66 Blue Hen St.

Your Horoscope
Jupiter moving forward is cause for celebration this week! The Big Daddy of the planets has been retrograde in Taurus since August 30, making everyone think twice about financial decisions. The need to be cautious and to minimize and save has helped us understand what is truly valuable in our lives. A new phase is coming, though, and it includes loosening the purse strings and increasing the flow of good fortune. ARIES (March 21-April 19). Being a top performer comes with a responsibility. It might feel as though if you do well, everyone will want something from you. Well, that feeling is true. But you'll be able to handle the pressure when it comes. So go ahead and excel this week. After all, it's what you were meant for. TAURUS (April 20-May 20). You'll be taking stock of your assets and possessions. These mean far less to you than being able to provide for the future needs of your loved ones and yourself. Peace of mind is what you're after. You'll assess where you are and make a solid plan that gives you a sense of calm. GEMINI (May 21-June 21). Author Og Mandino said, "A day merely survived is no cause for celebration." The statement overlooks the fact that many are in dire circumstances and are doing all they can to get through tough times. Whatever anyone around you can give and do will be reason enough to celebrate. CANCER (June 22-July 22). You uphold the virtue of modesty. And though you wouldn't brag to others, there's something to be said for being privately proud of your accomplishments. Keep track of what you've already done as a way of reminding yourself that you can be quite determined when you want to be. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22). To avoid being boring — which right now seems like one of the worst things you could be — you'll spend several hours of the week following your own interests and delights. This is not an indulgence, not in the least! In fact, it's one of your success secrets. It's what makes you a treat for others to be around. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22). Whether or not you enjoy a job is irrelevant. You enjoy having a purpose and making a contribution. Maybe this isn't ultimately what you want to be remembered for, but it does make a difference in the world. Don't discount your current position as you move toward using your talents in a way that pleases you. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23). Your strong logical sense will sometimes be overridden by your subconscious mind

By Holiday Mathis whirring in the background while making intuitive connections. Avoid mistakes by keeping distractions at bay. Just because the phone rings doesn't mean you have to answer it. Stay in control of your time and attention. SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21). Where does love come from? Is it born in your heart, or does it fall like Cupid's arrow from the sky? Is it something you have to create, or was it always there, just waiting to be received? You'll be feeling love differently and pondering your affections from a philosophical as well as a spiritual point of view. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21). Different friends highlight different parts of you. You'll be sensitive to inner personal dynamics, and you'll consciously decide who brings out your best. The ones who don't seem to readily attract your higher qualities will be the teachers who provide the practice necessary to develop into the person you want to be. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19). You'll experience a whole range of feelings. And though you won't be able to control how you feel, you will be able to direct your attention in a way that's likely to lead to happiness. Also, you can choose your reaction to feelings. You will often select a response that will bring about the best outcome.

week 12/23 -12/29
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18). This week brings long hours of uninterrupted fun. Often, you'll find yourself living in the moment, as though nothing in the world could bother you. Sure, there's still plenty of work to be done to make your life go right. But it's nothing you mind doing. Your easygoing ways will attract fans and followers. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20). You'll call things the way you see them — that is, when you're asked to make a judgment. You're careful not to assert your opinion unless you're invited to do so, though, conscious of the dangers of over-sharing. Your tact is one of the things that make you so popular this week. People trust you. THIS WEEK'S BIRTHDAYS: You'll make money doing what a lot of people do, but in a way that only you can do it. Guided by your principles, you'll find others who have a similar ideology. In February, you'll share and expand your views. New methods of getting to a goal will become available to you. A friend helps you apply your more unique talents. The feeling you get when you shake someone's hand in March is not to be dismissed. Your instincts will be well honed, especially in matters of love.

Continued from page 9 And risky it is. Just ask the 100 Panamanians who died using cough syrup made in China with diethylene glycol (mislabeled as glycerin). Or the people who were injured from ingesting tainted seafood, slipping on faulty swimming pool ladders, or in auto accidents caused by shoddy Chinese-made tires. Even worse are the homes lost to fires caused by faulty electrical wiring in Chinesemade lighting, extension cords and heaters. China has even reintroduced lead poisoning to American children through paint and metal on cheap toys. "After discovering that a toy I purchased for my grandson was recalled in May," said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., during a 2007 Senate hearing, "I asked myself the same question parents across the country are asking today: Who is in charge?" Durbin was disturbed to learn that one employee at the CPSC is responsible for testing toys and ensuring toy safety throughout the country. He is sponsoring legislation to expand the CPSC. Last summer, China quietly surpassed the United States as the world's top polluter. China has no real environmental safeguards in place to protect drinking water from contaminants, no labor laws to keep children out of sweatshops and no legal ethics to keep entrepreneurs from producing dangerous products. Continues on next page



Occupy America Through Your Generosity This Holiday Season
Let's Occupy America this holiday season. Instead of sitting in parks and protesting, instead of lamenting our political choices, instead of waiting for the government to figure it out — let's occupy our country with the generous spirit of giving. This is not my traditional yearend financial advice column, outlining steps you should take now to lighten your tax burden and improve your chances of a successful retirement — though I will give those reminders at the end. While important, that advice seems to melt in the context of all the e-mails and blog posts I receive these days — comments that are overwhelmingly reflective of an economy that has failed to grow and create jobs. Parents worry about their adult children who have lost jobs and are losing their homes. Adult children worry about their parents or widowed mother who used to live on interest income that is now nonexistent. Worry about money seems to permeate both our conscious and subconscious thinking this holiday season. Who can blame us if we attempt to carry on with the traditional shopping and gifting traditions to make it seem as if all is right in our world? So we tally the consumer spending statistics, not the consumer-giving figures. Yet even as you shop for your loved ones, you know in your heart that many children won't receive presents, food bank shelves will be sparse, and groups that are dedicated to giving are low on resources. So do something! Yes, you. No matter how comfortable — or bleak — your personal situation, do something. Pick one thing to do that will help others who are not wrapping presents for a tree they won't have and are not checking recipes for a dinner they won't cook. Occupy America this holiday season. Occupy America with goodness and generosity. Don't just sit there and wait for the government to give; do it yourself, whether you're giving time or money. Here are some suggestions: — Visit your local food bank with groceries. Yes, it's unbelievable that people go hungry in America when we shop in stores that are bulging with goodies. Take your children with you so they can see the difference. ture. There are plenty of worthy organizations. So that brings me to my yearend Terry's Tips, starting with a reminder that, yes, those gifts

thE savagE truth on MonEy by tErry savagE

Occupy America with goodness and

— Prepay your real estate taxes so you can take the deduction this year. In fact, maximize all your deductions, such as state income tax, by pre-paying if you have the cash. — Make energy-efficient home improvements before year-end to get tax credits.

For details on all of these yearend tax tips, consult your accountant or professional tax adviser. But for taking action on the giving ideas at the start of this column, don't wait: Consult your heart! Your gift of time and money will be at least as rewarding as any tax tips. And that's The Savage Truth. Terry Savage is a registered investment adviser and is on the board of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. She appears weekly on WMAQ-Channel 5's 4:30 p.m. newscast, and can be reached at She is the author of the new book, "The New Savage Number: How Much Money Do You Really Need to Retire?"

are all deductible (except for your time and love). And here are a few more things you should be doing this holiday season to plan ahead: — Top up your 40l(k) — at least to get the "free money" in the employer match. Ask HR to take extra pre-tax money out of your final paycheck.

Buy a locally made good or service for your child and skip cheap Chinese imports for the good of the economy, the environment and your child's health. Continued from page 10 In addition, our communities suffer financially when we buy imports over locally made goods. When we opt for a cheaper import, our dollars flow out of our community and fund a system that degrades people and the planet. Our small businesses suffer, manufacturing jobs leave, and we find ourselves with boarded-up storefronts in our downtowns. This economic exodus further devalues our currency and increases the demand for "cheap." A recent economic study conducted in Austin, Texas, found that if each household in Travis County redirected just $100 of planned holiday spending from chain stores (carrying cheap imports) to locally owned merchants, the economic impact would reach approximately $10 million. Imagine what $10 million could do for your community. Shawn Dell Joyce is an awardwinning columnist and founder of the Wallkill River School in Orange County, N.Y. You can contact her at

— Use your annual gifting ability. Every year you can give up to $13,000 to any recipient, or many recipients, without paying gift taxes, reducing your estate tax obligations down the line. — If over age 70-and-a-half, gift directly from your IRA and the withdrawal is tax-free, a provision that is set to expire at year-end.

— Adopt a family though your church, temple or community organization. Many shopping malls have gift trees, listing kids' wishes. Don't disappoint a 7-year-old who only wants a warm jacket. — Don't forget seniors. The saddest e-mails I receive are from elderly women with no one to remember them on holidays. Don't just carol at a senior center; sit and talk with an elderly person. Maybe you'll learn something about surviving. — Buy dog and cat food, and take it to your local animal shelter. With so many people unable to feed their pets and abandoning them, shelters are burdened. And if all of that is too personal and too emotional — write a check. Write several checks. Every community has an organization appealing for funds to make the holidays brighter, likely the United Way or a fund started by your local newspaper or bank. If you have money to give but don't know which charity to support, go to, the website that evaluates charities based on performance and expenses. There you can search by your area of concern, whether animal welfare or domestic violence or arts and cul-



FOCUS ON THE FAMILY with Jim Daly and Dr. Juli Slattery

Q: My parents see birthdays and even minor holidays as an excuse to shower my kids with excessive gifts. I've tried to talk to them about this, but they don't get the message. It looks like Christmas is going to usher in another avalanche of toys from Grandma and Grandpa. What do I do? Jim: You've probably seen those T-shirts that read, "Whatever happens at Grandma's stays at Grandma's." Doting grandparents tend to overindulge their grandkids and then send them back home -- where their parents have to deal with the fallout! Often, there's little harm in grandparents wanting to "spoil" their grandchildren, so long as the kids understand that such occasions are regarded as the exception to the rule. But sometimes Grandma and Grandpa need to be reined in. If they're repeatedly disregarding your wishes as a parent, you may be facing something bigger than the mere doting permissiveness of adoring grandparents. You need to take decisive steps to address the problem, albeit in a loving, respectful way that will not jeopardize the positive relationship you enjoy with them. We'd suggest that you and your spouse get a baby sitter and schedule a dinner out with your parents. Begin by letting them know how much you love and value them. Then tell them that you're working hard to raise children who are not given to self-centeredness and materialism. Explain that although you appreciate their kindness and generosity, you're beginning to feel that they are undermining your efforts by their actions. It would help if you can name specific incidents. Relate the details and tell them how these situations made you feel as a parent. Help them understand why it's important for your children to be held to a consistent standard. They may feel hurt for a while, but it's critical that you address the issue before it gets further out of hand. Hopefully, they'll share your desire that your kids not become spoiled brats, and will fall into line accordingly. ** (Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family, host of the Focus on the Family radio program, and a husband and father of two. Dr. Juli Slattery is a licensed psychologist, co-host of Focus on the Family, author of several books, and a wife and mother of three.)




Zip Through Constantinople in 'Assassin's Creed: Revelations'
Jeb Haught DEVELOPER: Ubisoft PUBLISHER: Ubisoft SYSTEM: Sony PlayStation 3 (Xbox 360, PC) PRICE: $59.99 ESRB RATING: Mature REVIEW RATING: 4.0 stars (out of 5) Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed" series has managed to impress fans of both stealth and action ever since its inception. While most third-person games excel at one or the other, this series combines sublime sneaking abilities with excellent swordplay and then adds a great storyline. Unfortunately, the fourth game in the series, "Assassin's Creed: Revelations," hasn't aged nearly as well as its main character. Ezio Auditore returns as the main character, but it has been several years since the events that concluded his last outing. The brazen assassin has grown older and wiser, and now sports a salt-and-pepper beard that covers his wrinkly face. (I was half expecting him to dive right into a Dos Equis commercial!) Thankfully, his adventures take him to new stomping grounds, and after this adventure, ConREVIEW RATING: 3.5 stars (out of 5) Created by the same company behind "Sports Champions" (which is still my favorite PS Move game), "Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest" combines several elements from the former title into a cohesive game. Despite the similarities, though, "Medieval Moves" doesn't play like a series of mini-games strung together by a lackluster story. Life can't get any better for adventurous prince Edmund — that is, until the nefarious sorcerer Morgrimm turns everyone in his kingdom into skeletons! As the only resident able to think for himself (thanks to a magical amulet), Edmund, the skeletal prince, who calls himself Deadmund, sets out to defeat the evil sorcerer and return the undead townsfolk to their former glory. Although this game is full of action, players don't actually control how or where Deadmund walks. I suppose that's because it requires the PS Move controller, and it's difficult to combine the in-depth action with character movement on motion-based controllers, but it severely limits game play. Thankfully, the action isn't so limited. Players can swing their swords in any direction and watch it happen on-screen while blocking incoming attacks with their off-hands. Although it can be challenging at first, these abilities quickly become intuitive. I also like the ability to whip out a bow and shoot enemies from afar using the same natural motion that real archers use. It's very satisfying to shoot enemies from long distance, especially when they fall from high ledges! Eventually, alternative abilities become available that include flinging throwing stars and using a grappling hook. Throwing stars can be used more quickly than the bow for closeto medium-range enemies, and the grappling hook lets players reach otherwise unreachable areas. It's also fun to use. "Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest" becomes repetitive in long play sessions, but it provides smooth controls and a great alternative to PS Move mini-game compilations. REVIEW SCORING SYSTEM 5 stars = Must-Have 4 stars = Very Good 3 stars = Above Average 2 stars = Bargain Bin 1 star = Don't Bother RATINGS KEY Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) E: Everyone E10-plus: (Everyone 10 and older) T: Teen (13 and older) M: Mature (17 and older)

stantinople will never be the same. Although the game starts off with a slow tutorial that follows Ezio as he escapes from the Templars, it quickly transforms into the familiar open-world game-play the series is known for. Sneaking in the shadows throughout the years seems to have had a negative affect on Ezio, because his kill animations are more bloodthirsty than ever! New to the series is the hookblade, which lets Ezio latch onto overhangs and even slide on zip-lines. While this is a great addition to the series, it makes the enjoyable climbing ability take a backseat to quickly zipping around the city. Also new is a variation of tower

defense, called Den Defense, where Ezio must instruct his underlings to reinforce certain buildings, build barricades and hide on rooftops in order to stop Templar attacks on his property. Too bad the line of sight is so limited or else this would be a fun mini-game. Thankfully, an excellent multiplayer component makes up for some of the shortcomings found in "Assassin's Creed: Revelations."

'Medieval Moves: Deadmund's Quest'
DEVELOPER: Zindagi Games PUBLISHER: Sony SYSTEM: Sony PlayStation 3 PRICE: $39.99 (PS Move required) ESRB RATING: Everyone



‘Four on the floor’ describes most cats
Researchers think anxiety or pain may play a part norm (usually an extra one or two, but occasionin uncharacteristic aggression. Three-quarters of ally as many as three or four) makes a cat polythe biters exhibited anxiety when separated from dactyl, which means “many fingers.” their owners or when exposed to loud noises, Polydactylism is a dominant genetic trait, which such as thunderstorms or fireworks. means just one polydactyl parent is Cats hit the Half of the biting dogs had medical enough to make a litter of polydactyl kittens. These cats are also called ground with four conditions such as skin or bone or liver problems, kid“Hemingway cats,” after the ones toes on the front growths, eyehormonal conditions or ney disease, kept by Ernest Hemingway. paws, but use all infection. • Dogs who bite children often have five to grip • Cats may be the No. 1 pet in the no priors, according to Veterinary things or to United States in terms of popularity, Economics magazine, which rebut dogs rule at the veterinary office. ported on research from the journal climb. According to the American VeteriInjury Prevention. In a study of 100 nary Medical Assoc., dogs average 2.6 veterinary dog bites from 103 dogs presented at a behavior visits per year, while cats top out at 1.7. clinic over a four-year period, 20 percent of the dogs had never bitten anyone, and of those who — Dr. Marty Becker and Mikkel Becker had, 33 percent had never bitten a child before.

• Most cats have five toes on their front paws, but only four of them hit the ground. The fifth toe is called a dewclaw and is found on the inside of the front paw. The dewclaw is the feline equiva-

lent of our thumb, and it’s used for grasping prey and climbing trees. A normal feline back paw, by the way, has four toes that are all called into service when walking. Any number of toes over the

Home for the Holidays
Shelter Pet Adoption Challenge
Through the adoption challenge, Animal Services hopes to place at least 215 shelter pets in permanent homes. Last year, 208 shelter pets were adopted in the month of December. “We’re asking the community to join us in this month-long adoption challenge by welcoming a shelter pet into their families this holiday season. Every animal deserves a loving home,” said Environmental Services Director Ellen Smyth, who oversees Animal Services. The public can view potential pets at the Animal Services shelter, located at 5001 Fred Wilson. The shelter’s kennels located on the eastside of A total of 77 animals were adopted at our shelter the main office area are open to the public 24 between December 1st to December 10th. Our hours a day, seven days a week. Shelter adopgoal for December is place 215 shelter pets in tions are handled on-site by the Humane Society permanent home. of El Paso. Animal Services and the Humane Society of El Paso are located next El Paso, Texas – To make the holidays door to each other. Together they make merrier for homeless pets, the City of up the community’s Animal Care CamEl Paso Animal Services Program is challenging the community to help find shelter pets in pus, which offers the public the largest permanent selection of potential pets. loving homes for shelter animals. home is our goal for Shelter adoption hours are from The adoption challenge starting today December 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and running through the end of the


month aims to save the lives shelter pets. Annually, more than 18,000 animals are euthanized in El Paso as a consequence of unplanned and uncontrolled pet breeding.

through Saturday. For more information, call (915) 842-1000.


Now Showing

Open Limited 12/21/11 Runtime 160 min MPAA Rating R for brutal violent content including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, and language. Starring Daniel Craig, Stellan Skarsgård, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer Genre Drama, Suspense/Thriller Synopsis The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures' three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson's literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon.

Open Nationwide 12/23/11 Runtime 124 min MPAA Rating PG for language and some thematic elements. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Matt Damon, Elle Fanning, Carla Gallo, Thomas Haden Church Genre Comedy, Drama, Family Synopsis Based on a true story, a widowed father buys a dilapidated zoo in hopes of making a fresh start. Facing enormous odds, he and his children, along with a small but loyal staff, work to get the zoo re-opened.

Open Nationwide 12/16/11 Runtime 129 min MPAA Rating PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some startling images and a scene of suggestive material. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong, Eddie Marsan Genre Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller Synopsis Sherlock Holmes has always been the smartest man in the room…until now. There is a new criminal mastermind at large-Professor Moriarty - and not only is he Holmes' intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may actually give him an advantage over the renowned detective. When the Crown Prince of Austria is found dead, the evidence, as construed by Inspector Lestrade, points to suicide. But Sherlock Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim of murder-a murder that is only one piece of a larger and much more portentous puzzle, designed by Professor Moriarty. The cunning Moriarty is always one step ahead of Holmes as he spins a web of death and destruction.

The Darkest Hour
12/25/2011 Rated: PG-13 Genre: Science Fiction/Action The Darkest Hour is the story of five young people who find themselves stranded in Moscow, fighting to survive in the wake of a devastating alien attack. The thriller highlights the classic beauty of Moscow alongside mind-blowing special effects. Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Rachael Taylor, Max Minghella, Joel Kinnaman

Open Nationwide 12/21/11 Runtime 133 min MPAA Rating PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence. Starring Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Josh Holloway Genre Action/Adventure, Drama Synopsis When a bomb destroys the Kremlin, the IMF is blamed and its members labeled as terrorists intent on inciting a global nuclear war. Ethan Hunt and his team must unravel the conspiracy.

Open Nationwide 12/16/11 Runtime 94 min MPAA Rating R for language and some sexual content. Starring Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt, Elizabeth Reaser, J.K. Simmons Genre Drama Synopsis Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature, returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart. When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate who hasn't quite gotten over high school either.

Open Nationwide 12/16/11 Runtime 87 min MPAA Rating G Starring Jason Lee, David Cross, Jenny Slate, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler Genre Family Synopsis After surviving the sinking of their cruise ship, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore must survive on a Polynesian island.

Open Nationwide 12/21/11 Runtime 107 min MPAA Rating PG for adventure action violence, some drunkenness and brief smoking. Starring Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost Genre Animation, Action/Adventure, Family Synopsis Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures Present a 3D Motion Capture Film “The Adventures of Tintin” directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish. Starring Jamie Bell (“Billy Elliot,” “Defiance”) as Tintin, the intrepid young reporter whose relentless pursuit of a good story thrusts him into a world of high adventure, and Daniel Craig (“Quantum of Solace,” “Defiance”) as the nefarious Red Rackham. Based on the series of books The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé, the film is produced by Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy.



Premiere Cinemas
New Year's Eve PG-13 Digital Cinema 10:45am 1:45pm 4:45pm 7:45pm 10:45pm Arthur Christmas PG RealD 3D 10:25am 1:25pm 4:25pm Hugo PG RealD 3D 10:30am 1:30pm 4:30pm The MuppetsPG Digital Cinema 10:35am 1:35pm 4:35pm 7:35pm My Week with Marilyn R Digital Cinema 7:25pm 10:25pm Happy Feet TwoPG Digital Cinema 10:40am Immortals R RealD 3D 10:20pm Digital Cinema 10:20am 1:20pm 4:20pm 7:20pm Jack and Jill PG Digital Cinema 1:40pm 4:40pm 7:40pm 10:40pm In Time PG-13 Digital Cinema 10:35pm The Greatest Miracle PG RealD 3D 1:10pm 4:10pm 7:10pm 10:10pm Standard 10:10am

Gateway West Blvd/Cielo Vista Mall •Schedule good for Friday December 23rd

6101 Gateway West S.15 Schedule good for 12/23
7:15p 8:15p 9:50p 10:30p SUB. SHERLOCK HOLMES 2 (PG-13) 12:35p 7:05p THE DESCENDANTS(R) 10:35a 1:35p 4:30p 7:25p 10:20p THE SITTER(R) 11:35a 12:35p 2:00p 3:00p 4:30p 5:30p 7:00p 8:00p 9:30p 10:25p THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1(PG-13) 12:45p 3:45p 6:45p 9:45p WE BOUGHT A ZOO (PG) 10:40a 12:55p 1:50p 3:40p 5:00p 6:50p 8:10p 10:00p YOUNG ADULT (R) 10:45a 11:40a 1:15p 2:15p 3:55p 4:50p 6:25p 7:30p 9:05p 10:05p

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked G Digital Cinema 10:15am 11:00am 12:30pm 1:15pm 2:00pm 2:45pm 3:30pm 4:15pm 5:00pm 5:45pm 6:30pm 7:15pm 8:00pm 8:45pm 9:30pm 10:15pm Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol PG-13 Digital Cinema 10:00am 11:00am 12:00pm 1:00pm 2:00pm 3:00pm 4:00pm 5:00pm 6:00pm 7:00pm 7:30pm 8:00pm 9:00pm 10:00pm 10:30pm

West side of El Paso at Mesa & I-10 • Schedule good for Friday December 23rd
We Bought a Zoo PG Digital Cinema 9:10am 9:50am 12:35pm 1:05pm 3:45pm 4:15pm 7:20pm 10:30pm The Adventures of Tintin PG RealD 3D 10:30am 1:35pm 4:40pm 7:45pm 10:45pm Digital Cinema 9:45am12:55pm 4:05pm 7:15pm 10:20pm The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo R Digital Cinema 9:00am 12:20pm 3:50pm 7:35pm 8:05pm 10:35pm 11:10pm Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked G Digital Cinema 9:10am 10:40am 11:50am 1:30pm 2:30pm 4:20pm 5:10pm 7:10pm 7:50pm 10:30pm Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol PG-13 Cinemark XD 9:30am 12:45pm 4:10pm 7:30pm 10:50pm Digital Cinema 10:15am 1:25pm 4:45pm 8:00pm 11:15pm Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows PG-13 Digital Cinema 9:40am 10:10am 12:50pm 1:20pm 4:00pm 4:30pm 7:10pm 7:40pm 10:15pm 10:55pm New Year's Eve PG-13 Digital Cinema 12:25pm 3:45pm 7:05pm 10:25pm The Sitter R Digital Cinema 7:35pm 10:10pm Arthur ChristmasPGDigital Cinema 11:25am 2:15pm 5:05pm Hugo PG RealD 3D 9:05am The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1PG-13Digital Cinema 10:00pm Tower HeistPG-13Digital Cinema 11:30am 2:10pm 5:00pm 7:45pm

ADVENTURES OF TINTIN 2-D (PG) 10:55a 1:45p 4:35p 7:20p 10:10p ADVENTURES OF TINTIN 3-D (PG) 10:50a 1:40p 4:30p 7:15p 10:05p COURAGEOUS (PG-13) 12:15p 3:20p 6:35p 9:40p DBOX SHERLOCK HOLMES 2 (PG-13) 12:00p 3:10p 6:30p 9:45p GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO(R) 10:30a 11:00a 2:15p 2:45p 6:05p 6:30p 9:45p 10:15p J. EDGAR (R) 7:05p 10:25p PASTORELA (R) 3:45p 10:15p PUSS IN BOOTS 2-D(PG) 11:15a 1:45p 4:30p SHERLOCK HOLMES 2 (PG-13) 10:30a 12:00p 12:50p 1:45p3:10p 4:05p 5:00p 6:30p



EAST POINTE MOVIES 12 Schedule good for 12/23- 12/29 I-10 & Lee Trevino
A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR CHRISTMAS 2-D (R) 11:45a | 4:10p | 9:25p A VERY HAROLD &KUMAR CHRISTMAS 3-D (R) 2:00p | 7:05p ABDUCTION (PG-13) 7:20p | 9:55p COURAGEOUS (PG-13) 12:00p | 3:00p | 6:40p | 9:35p DOLPHIN TALE 2-D (PG) 11:10a | 4:05p | 9:00p DOLPHIN TALE 3-D (PG) 1:35p | 6:25p FOOTLOOSE (2011) (PG-13) 11:40a | 2:10p | 7:10p MONEYBALL(PG-13)12:05p3:30p6:35p9:30p PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 (R) 7:35p | 9:50p PUSS IN BOOTS 2-D (PG) 11:15a | 1:40p | 4:15p | 6:50p | 9:15p PUSS IN BOOTS 3-D (PG) 12:15p | 2:40p | 5:05p | 7:30p | 9:45p REAL STEEL (PG-13) | 11:05a | 11:55a | 1:55p | 3:10p | 4:45p | 6:15p | 9:05p RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (PG-13) 4:40p | 9:40p THE IDES OF MARCH (R) 11:30a | 2:05p | 4:25p | 6:45p | 9:10p THE LION KING 3-D (G) 11:20a | 1:30p | 4:00p TOWER HEIST (PG-13) 11:25a | 1:50p | 4:20p | 6:55p | 9:20p

Las Palmas i-10 @ Zaragosa • Schedule good for Friday December 23rd
We Bought a Zoo PG Digital Cinema 9:55am 11:20am 1:05pm 2:55pm 4:15pm 6:00pm 7:25pm 9:10pm 10:35pm The Adventures of Tintin PG RealD 3D 10:50am 1:40pm 4:30pm 7:20pm 10:15pm Digital Cinema 9:35am 12:25pm The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo R Digital Cinema 9:45am 11:00am 12:15pm 1:25pm 2:40pm 3:55pm 5:10pm 6:25pm 7:40pm 8:50pm 10:10pm 11:30pm Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked G Digital Cinema 9:30am 10:00am 11:10am 12:05pm 12:55pm 1:45pm 2:35pm 3:30pm 4:20pm 5:15pm 6:05pm 7:50pm 8:40pm 10:25pm Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol PG-13 Cinemark XD 9:30am 12:50pm 4:10pm 7:35pm 11:00pm Digital Cinema 11:30am 2:50pm 6:15pm 6:50pm 9:35pm 10:05pm Midnight Showtimes (Late Friday Night) 12:05am Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows PG-13 Digital Cinema 9:40am 10:45am 11:50am 12:45pm 1:55pm 3:00pm 4:00pm 5:05pm 6:10pm 7:15pm 8:20pm 9:20pm 10:30pm 11:45pm Young Adult R Digital Cinema 3:05pm 5:30pm 8:05pm 10:45pm New Year's Eve PG-13 Digital Cinema 12:40pm 3:45pm 10:00pm The Sitter R Digital Cinema 10:10am 12:30pm 3:15pm 6:20pm 8:35pm 10:55pm Arthur Christmas PG Digital Cinema 10:35am 1:15pm 3:55pm 6:45pm 9:40pm The Muppets PG Digital Cinema 9:55am 1:00pm 3:50pm 6:55pm 9:50pm Happy Feet TwoPGDigital Cinema 9:50am The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 PG-13 Digital Cinema 10:05am 4:05pm 9:55pm ImmortalsR 9:30am 11:15pm Jack and JillPG Digital Cinema 1:10pm 7:30pm

COURAGEOUS (PG-13) 12:45p 3:20p 6:00p 8:35p DOLPHIN TALE (PG) 2:20p 7:15p FOOTLOOSE (PG-13) 12:00p 4:50p 9:35p IN TIME (PG-13) 12:30p 2:45p 5:00p 7:15p 9:30p PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3(R) 12:00p 2:00p

2200 N. Yarbrough

Schedule good for 12/23-12/29 4:00p 6:00p 8:00p 10:00p PUSS IN BOOTS (PG) 12:10p 2:10p 4:10p 6:10p 8:10p 10:10p REAL STEEL (PG-13) 1:30p 4:10p 6:45p 9:25p TOWER HEIST (PG-13) 12:20p 2:30p 4:40p 6:50p 9:00p



Out & About
New Year’s Eve Dance — Paso del Norte Tango Club will host a New Year’s Eve dance 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, Shundo Dance Studio, 2719 N. Stanton, featur-

Calendar of upcoming events for El Paso/ Southern New Mexico are from Dec 23rd - Dec 29nd, 2011
If you want your upcoming event listed in SPOTLIGHT’S Out & About section, please send all your relevant data by e-mail to: ing dancing to Tango, Latin and ballroom music, a chuckwagon buffet served 8 to 9:30 p.m. and midnight champagne. Cost: $20 at the door. Information: 532-2043 or the circle each Christmas Eve in the central El Paso neighborhood. From I-10, take Trowbridge northwest to Pennsylvania Ave. Pennsylvania leads directly into the circle.

Cumberland Circle — Luminarias and Christmas lights adorn

Forum Ballroom New Year’s Eve Dance — Tejas Band is featured at the Dec. 31
dance, 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at The Forum, 3800 Mattox (at Hawkins). Cost is $35, which includes party favors, beer and set-ups, chances at cash prizes and menudo at midnight. Information: 598-4220.

Eastridge Christmas lights — The residents of the Eastside subdivision of Eastridge participates each year in an elaborate neighborhood-wide holiday lights display. Lights are usually lit around the first week of December, and run through the holiday season. The subdivision is off McRae Blvd; turn west on Eastridge.

Holiday Light Show — The brilliant display of holiday lights choreographed to music is
featured at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, Dec. 2-25, at 12001 Paseo de Oro (one block north of Montwood, off Bob Mitchell). Parking available at Montwood High School and Crosspoint Church. Admission is free.

Speaking Rock Entertainment Center - 122 S. Old
Pueblo Road. Blue Oyster Cult headlines the New Year’s Eve show at 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31. Information: 860-7777 or

Holiday on Ice — Special holiday-themed public skating is usually planned during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season at the Sierra Providence Event Center next to the Coliseum, 4100 Paisano. Information: 479-PUCK (7825) or ‘Ballet showcase’ — Ballet USA/Oskar Artunez presents the ballet performance at 6:30 p.m.
Thursday and Friday, Dec. 22-23, at Chamizal National Memorial, 800 S. San Marcial, as well as a talent showcase. Admission: $5. Information: 307-4093.


Singles Meet and Greet New Year’s Eve Party — Sunland Winery will host the singles event Saturday, Dec. 31, beginning at 6 p.m. with a painting and tasting class. Also included in the evening are karaoke, DJ, dancing, and party favors. Wine sales are available during the evening. Cost is $45. Reservations required. Information: (575) 589-1214. Sunland Winery is located at Art & Frame Mfg., 1769 Victory Lane in Sunland Park, N.M., just north of Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. From I-10, take Sunland Park to Futurity, turn right, then left of Trifecta and right on Victory. Sunland Park New Year’s Eve — The Alex Martinez Band will headline the New Year’s Eve celebration in the Signature Showroom at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino Saturday, Dec. 31. Tickets: $35 (includes dinner buffet, entertainment, favors and champagne toasting); $250 table for eight. Ages 21 and older welcome. Information/reservations: (575) 874-5200 ext 4269. Ardovino’s New Year’s Eve Bash — Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, One Ardovino Drive in Sunland Park, will ring in 2011 Saturday, Dec. 31. with a special New Year’s Eve celebration. Call for details. Information/reservations: (575) 589-0653 or Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino — The 2011-2012 live horse racing season runs Dec. 6-April 17. Race days are Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. First post is 12:25 p.m. each race day. General admission is free to the track and casino. Turf Club seating is $7. Information: (575) 874-5200 or Simulcast racing begins at 10 a.m. everyday. General admission and parking are free. Information: (575) 874-5200. To get there, take the Sunland Park exit from I-10, go south (left turn coming from Downtown) and follow the signs. UTEP Women’s Basketball — Home games are in the Don Haskins Center;. Ticket information: 747-5234 or • 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 — Texas State. UTEP Men’s Basketball - Home games are at the Don Haskins Center. Game time is 7
p.m. unless noted otherwise. Season tickets are $195 (upper deck to $1,500 (floor); family packs are $500. Single game tickets to be announced. Information: 747-5234 or • Dec. 28-29 — Bank of the West Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational. UTEP plays Colorado State at 7 p.m. Wednesday; Arkansas-Pine Bluff plays Jacksonville State at 9 p.m. Wednesday. Consolation game is 5 p.m. Thursdays with championship game at 7 p.m. The 50th annual tournament is the nation’s oldest collegiate holiday basketball tournament.

Hyundai Sun Bowl — The 78th annual football classic begins at noon, Saturday, Dec. 31, featuring the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-4) of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Utah Utes (7-5) of the Pac 12. Tickets; $15, $20, $30, $40, $50, $60 and $150. Information: 533-4416, 1-800-915-BOWL or (Ticketmaster). Pregame activities begin at 11:30 a.m. in the stadium, and the Sun Bowl Fun Zone activity area for children is open 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside of the stadium’s east concourse.

El Paso Hardcore Reunion Show — Some of the Sun City area’s best punk bands perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23, at Tricky Falls, 209 S. El Paso. with Rhythm Pigs, Teenage Popeye, Second Hand Human, Consultants and Necrophilia. Tickets: $10-$12. Information: 351-9909. Tickets available online at ‘The Great Russian Nutcracker’ — The Moscow Ballet presents the 17th anniversary of this holiday classic at 4 and 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23, at the Plaza Theatre, premiering critically acclaimed Alexandra Elagina and Andre Ustimov as Masha and the Nutcracker Prince in their Western debut. Tickets: $28, $36 and $88, plus service charge (Ticketmaster). Group discounts available. Information: Elagina and Ustimov joined more than 30 Russian dancers in performing the beloved Christmas story to critical acclaim in 2010 on the Eastern Tour. Set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, Moscow Ballet’s production features 200 lavish costumes, larger-than-life Russian puppets and nine handpainted backdrops embellished with 3-D effects. Ballet Master is Andre Litvinov from the Chisinau State Opera and Ballet Theatre in Moldova.


Luminarias and Christmas Carols on the Plaza — Old Mesilla,
N.M., turns into a wonderland of music and light beginning at dusk Christmas Eve, Saturday, Dec. 24, at San Albino Church and the surrounding historic plaza. Around 6,000 luminarias will be set up. The Mesilla Singers will lead singing of Christmas carols from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Mesilla is southwest of Las Cruces. Take I-10 West to the Avenida de Mesilla exit. The plaza is off NM Highway 28 (Avenida de Mesilla) south of I-10. Admission is free. Information: (575) 524-3262, ext. 116.

New Year, Same Great Theatre
El Paso Community College (EPCC) Theater Ensemble will be performing “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”. The first show is Thursday January 19th, 2012 and will continue the 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th, and 28th. The box office opens at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. The play will be held at the Forum Theater on the EPCC Transmountain campus, 9570 Gateway North. General Admission is $10 and $5 for students, military, and senior citizens 55 years or older. The play, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, is a Tony Award winning show about six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by adults who barely managed to escape childhood themselves. The kids learn that winning isn’t everything and losing doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a loser. These quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand put and fit in at the same time. The play is directed by Keith Townsend. For more information on “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, call (915) 831-5056.

SNOOP DOGG AND WIZ KHALIFA Some Naughty, Some Nice Gifts to HEAD TO ‘HIGH SCHOOL Hollywood's Famous
Doggystyle recording artist Snoop Dogg and Rostrum/Atlantic recording artist Wiz Khalifa have teamed up to release the soundtrack to their upcoming film, “Mac and Devin Go To High School.” The collaborative album, which features the Bruno Mars-assisted first single, “Young, Wild & Free,". The Smeezingtonsproduced track serves as the first offering from the companion soundtrack to the film, which the two rappers are dubbing a “buddy film.” The video for “Young, Wild & Free” was shot in Los Angeles and was directed by the film’s director, Dylan Brown. The film, set in a Los Angeles high school, sees Valedictorian hopeful Devin Overstreet (Wiz Khalifa) struggling to pen his graduation speech when it becomes clear that all his academic overachievements have left him with little to no real-life experiences. He finds an unlikely inspiration in the leastachieving student on campus, Mac Johnson (Snoop Dogg.) Mac, a 15-year senior and consummate ladies man, is smitten by the school's new substitute chemistry teacher. He soon realizes that the only way he'll truly have a chance with her is if he finally graduates high school. In 3 weeks time, Mac must cram four years of high school academics, while Devin must cram four years of teenage experience.


Hollywood Exclusive
By Marilyn Beck & Stacy Jenel Smith

We got word from the North Pole that Santa has been considering switches and lumps of coal for certain Hollywood celebrities who've been very naughty this year. However, he's concerned that such gifts are a little behind the times. And as for those stars who've been nice, well, it's tough for even the jolly fat man himself to top the hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of fashions, high-tech gadgets, trips and other luxury items they can select for themselves at awards-show gifting suites. So, you see, Mr. Claus is frustrated. That's why we thought we'd help him out with some handpicked virtual gifts for the stars.

BILLY CRYSTAL: A triumphant return as Oscar show host. THE KARDASHIAN-JENNER CLAN: An Occupy visit from the 99 percent who find them annoying. KRIS HUMPHRIES: A copy of Lil' Chris' song "I've Been Had." New "America's Got Talent" Judge HOWARD STERN: An all-day sucker, to make his mouth sweeter and keep him from talking for a while. MILEY CYRUS: a pair of Minuteman International hearth gloves for the flesh-flashin', pot-lovin', potty-mouthed, 19-yearold former Disney star who keeps playing with fire. ALEC BALDWIN and GERARD DEPARDIEU, who threw a tantrum and pee-peed in the aisle, respectively, while traveling on planes: A Naughty Chair each, where they'll have to remain grounded in time-out until they say they're sorry and promise to behave like good boys when they fly. GEORGE LOPEZ, who compared Kirstie Alley to a pig before she lost all that weight on "Dancing With the Stars": A giant ham, in honor of his performance in "Mr. Troop Mom."

About Snoop Dogg
As a multi-platinum recording artist, television and movie star, the founder and coach of a hugely successful youth football league and a savvy adapter of modern technology, Snoop Dogg remains at the forefront of mainstream pop culture. The rapper is as active in music today as he was in

1992 around the launch of his timeless debut Doggystyle. With a stronghold over various social networking platforms (4.9M Twitter followers to date), Snoop is more accessible to his fans than ever. Snoop has been recognized as one of the most influential celebrities in social networking. With all eyes on the Long Beach native, Snoop recently released his eleventh studio album, Doggumentary. Snoop continues to travel the world performing live for sold-out crowds. For more information on Snoop Dogg, please visit,, and ***

About Wiz Khalifa
Born Cameron Thomaz, but better known as Wiz Khalifa, the 24-year old Pittsburgh native took the rap world by storm in 2011 with the release of his 3x-platinum hit “Black And Yellow.” The track later went on to become the unofficial anthem for the Pittsburgh Steelers and helped catapult Wiz to another level of rap superstardom. In March 2011, Wiz released his major label debut, “Rolling Papers,” which debuted atop Billboard’s “Top

Rap” and “Top R&B/Hip-Hop” charts and #2 on the “Top 200 Albums” chart. The album has gone on to reach gold-certification and has spawned 3 multi-platinum singles; “Black And Yellow” (3X Platinum), “Roll Up” (1X Platinum), “No Sleep” (1X Platinum). Wiz also became a fixture on the road embarking on 3 major sold-out headlining tours this year. For more information on Wiz Khalifa please visit, and


Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at Three Legged Monkey
December 17, 2011 • Photos By: Eddie Lopez


Nightlife calendar
Dec 30th
in Concert | Fri.Dec.30th Presented by SMG & Insomniac THE FINAL COUNTDOWN NYE 2012 | ENTER THE DRAGON with El Paso's #1 DJ: ESTEBAN CARRASCO Experience a taste of the Orient as we celebrate with a Traditional Chinese New Years Toast at Midnight | Hors D’Oeuvres | Traditional Asian Party Favors and SO MUCH MORE ... Cover: $20 INFORMATION & VIP RESERVATIONS: Text Message: 915.345.9015, Phone 915.351.9221, or E-Mail: & info@theplumcitylounge.c om Pre-Sale Tickets Available $15 @ THE DOOR DAY OF $3 CHARGE @ DOOR FOR UNDER 21

Jan 20th

Jan 18th

Buchanan's Event Centre- 11540 Pellicano Drive El Paso, TX 79936 915.329.4511 TICKET ENSURES YOUR ENTRY // TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING:, 9pm to 2am line starts at 8pm 21+ Designated Drinking Section


YOUR ENTRY // TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING:, 9pm to 2am line starts at 8pm 21+ Designated Drinking Section

Jan 13th

Dec 31st
PCL Presents: NYE 2012 | Enter The Dragon


By RICK MINTER / Cox Newspapers

Eleven from ’11
Most compelling moments to emerge from 2011 NASCAR season
1. Bayne takes Wood Brothers back to Victory Lane
Nothing gets a Sprint Cup season off to a better start than a dramatic Daytona 500. The 2011 Great American Race produced a great American story as one of the youngest drivers delivered a victory for one of the sport’s oldest and most revered race teams. Trevor Bayne, racing in Cup for just the second time ever, had the famed No. 21 Ford among the leaders all day in a race that saw a record 74 lead changes, but he didn’t take the lead until six laps to go. Then he held off all challenges to give the Wood Brothers their fifth Daytona 500 triumph and their 98th overall Cup victory. It also was Ford’s 600th win. Bayne, who became the youngest ever Daytona 500 winner at 20 years and one day, didn’t score another top 10 all year, but the remainder of the season had plenty of positives for Bayne and his team. He recovered from a serious illness that took him out of racing for the whole month of May and got his first Nationwide Series victory at Texas. He also led the go-or-go-home qualifiers in his last seven starts in the Wood Brothers Ford. The Woods also had more to celebrate when team founder Glen Wood was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame along with Richie Evans, Cale Yarborough, Dale Inman and Darrell Waltrip. iday weekend as track officials had pulled all the stops, including bringing in the famed rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd for a pre-race concert. But storms moved through the area just before race time on Sunday, pushing the 500 to Tuesday and sending most Jeff Gordon (NASCAR photo) of the assembled crowd home early. But Jeff Gordon rewarded those who stayed around by outrunning his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson to get his 85th career victory. Although NASCAR officials honored him for taking sole possession of third place on the all-time win list, trailing only Richard Petty and David Pearson, others with great knowledge of the history of the sport say Gordon only tied Bobby Allison, who for some reason hasn’t been credited by NASCAR officials for his win at Bowman-Gray Stadium in 1971. Based on Gordon’s answers in his winner’s interview at Atlanta, he’s among those who believe Allison has been unfairly shorted. “That’s what’s encouraging to try to get to 86,” said Gordon, who earlier in the year broke a 66-race losing skid with a win at Phoenix International Raceway. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m probably still tied with Bobby. And as long as it’s in Bobby’s head that we are tied, then that’s still a great thing.”

Trevor Bayne (left) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. stand on the starting grid prior to the NASCAR Nationwide Series WYPALL 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 12. Bayne, winner of the 2011 Daytona 500, and Stenhouse, 2011 Nationwide Series champion, were among the 11 top stories of the season. (NASCAR photo)

2. Smith wins Southern 500 at Darlington
Many people in and around NASCAR say Regan Smith should have gotten his breakthrough Sprint Cup victory at Talladega in 2008, when he was first to the finish line but disqualified for going below the yellow line as he raced Tony Stewart for the win. But no one questioned Smith’s victory in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, where he stunned many by being able to hold off Carl Edwards, who was riding on fresher tires, over the final 11 laps at the Track Too Tough to Tame. It also was the first victory for Smith’s Furniture Row racing team, which operates out of a shop in Denver, Colo., far from the Charlotte, N.C., area where most teams are headquartered.

3. Keselowski charges into wild-card Chase berth
Had Tony Stewart not turned in such a dramatic performance in the 10-race Chase, Brad Keselowski’s performance might have been the biggest story of 2011. The situation looked bleak for Keselowski after he broke his ankle in a nasty crash during a test session at Road Atlanta, which does not have the SAFER barriers that are common on NASCAR-sanctioned tracks. He not only made it Brad Keselowski through the next Cup (NASCAR photo)

race on the schedule, a grueling 500-miler at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 7, he won it. He entered that race 21st in Cup points, but he followed up his win with three straight top-three finishes, including a win at Bristol Motor Speedway. That put him in position to claim a wild-card Chase berth, and if not for being swept up in a late-race crash at Martinsville, he might have contended for the championship. Still, he finished a respectable fifth in the final standings.

5. Menard, Ragan, Ambrose score first Cup wins
Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith had plenty of company on the first-time winners list in 2011. Paul Menard scored a dramatic victory in the Brickyard 400, holding off Jeff Gordon in the final laps to be able to take his father John Menard to Victory Lane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a trip that had eluded him for years of fielding and sponsoring cars both in the Brickyard 400 and the Indianapolis 500. Continues on page 31

4. Gordon gets 85th career win at Atlanta
The AdvoCare 500 weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway had all the makings of a memorable Labor Day weekend. The pre-race atmosphere was appropriately festive for a hol-


Crew chief Zipadelli lands new gig at Stewart-Haas Racing for 2012
a one-time Gibbs crew chief who recently signed on to be crew chief of Stewart’s No. 14 team. Zipadelli’s departure from Gibbs’ team opens the door for Jason Ratcliff to move up from Gibb’s No. 18 Nationwide Series team to the No. 20 driven by Logano on the Cup side. Ratcliff brings impressive credentials to his new position. In seven years as crew chief of the No. 18, Ratcliff has won 30 races and two owners championships. He’ll be working alongside fellow crew chief Darian Grubb, who was released by Stewart-Haas but quickly hired to be crew chief of Gibbs’ No. 11 Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin.

Greg Zipadelli and Joey Logano check out a display at The Hall at Patriot Place detailing the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl wins (NASCAR photo)
Another week, another round of major personnel shifts in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. In a move that has been anticipated by many for some time, Greg Zipadelli left his job as a crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing to become competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing. By moving to StewartHaas, Zipadelli is being reunited with team co-owner and driver Tony Stewart, who was his driver for much of Zipadelli’s career at Gibbs. In his new job, Zipadelli, a native of Berlin, Conn., will oversee the Chevrolets driven on the Cup circuit by Stewart and Ryan Newman while also building the No. 10 team for which Danica Patrick will run 10 Cup races in 2012. Zipadelli and Stewart have a track record of success. From 1999 to 2008, they won 33 races, plus championships in 2002 and 2005. Since Stewart left Gibbs, Zipadelli has worked with Joey Logano, but the two never approached the results Stewart and Zipadelli did during their time together. Stewart said in a team release that he’s glad to be reunited with his old crew chief. “I know him and he knows me, and we both know what it takes to build race teams,” Stewart said. “Greg knows all that goes into the job, understands the importance of teamwork and communication across all levels of the organization, and is ultimately someone I have a great deal of trust in.” In his new job, Zipadelli is also being reunited with crew chief Steve Addington,


Toyota’s retro SUV – the FJ Cruiser
Some time ago, I suggested to some friends who were in the market for a practical family sedan, to head over to their local Toyota dealership and look at the Camry. The day after their trip to the dealer, they informed me how they had fallen head-over-heels over the Toyota. The Toyota FJ Cruiser, that is. Why an FJ Cruiser and what is it? Actually, the FJ Cruiser is a throwback to the late-50’s nononsense, four-wheel drive vehicle from Toyota known as the FJ28V, which later became the FJ40 in the 60’s. But to the average person, the FJ Cruiser is simply a cool, somewhat cartoonish, retro-styled vehicle that adds a huge spark to the Toyota lineup. Today’s FJ Cruiser first saw the light of day at the 2003 Detroit Auto Show and was such a huge hit, Toyota could do nothMechanically, all FJ Cruisers are very similar to Toyota’s 4Runner – even sharing the 4Runner’s 4.0 liter V6 engine. In the Cruiser, it’s good for 260 horsepower and 271 ft-lbs of torque, plenty to move the 4300 pound SUV around. Buyers can choose between a five-speed automatic transmission or a 6speed manual. Four-wheel drive automatics get a part-time 4WD system, while the manual-shift Cruisers get a fulltime 4WD system. If the outside of the FJ Cruiser doesn’t win you over, the inside will, where being simple is key. The floor is covered in rubber and the seats are draped in a water-resistant cloth. Control knobs are big and easy to use, even with gloves on, and the gauges, with their black on white dials, are simple to read. An optional upgrade package makes the door panels the same color as the exterior of the car. In the real world, the FJ Cruiser drives a lot like a 4Runner, delivering a decent ride for By The Numbers: 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4x4 Base Price: $26,880.00 Price as Tested: $31,562.00 Layout: front-engine / four-wheel drive Engine: 4.0 liter V6 Transmission: 5 - speed automatic Horsepower: 260 hp Torque: 271 ft-lbs EPA Fuel Economy:17 city / 21 highway mpg [Visit me at or email me at] being the serious off-road vehicle that it is. The only real shortcoming in the Cruiser is outward visibility. The small low windshield limits straight ahead sight and those huge Cpillars behind the backseat windows means there are some serious blind spots, thus making your side-view mirrors your new best friends. And while you may have some difficulty seeing out of the FJ Cruiser, people will not have any problem seeing you, with the Cruiser’s distinct five-inch round headlights, and the variety of colors Toyota offers the Cruiser in, all, by the way, coming with a white roof. The new for 2011 Army Green paint that my tester had really made the Cruiser look extra tough. No changes are in store for the 2012 model year. The FJ Cruisers funky styling is just what Toyota needs in their ever-so-conservative lineup of vehicles. It brings youth, spirit, heritage, and fun back to the Toyota name, and the buying public continues to eat it up. My car-shopping friends ended up not buying the FJ Cruiser – after finally convincing themselves it would not be the best car for their family of five. They bought an Avalon instead. Still, though, the FJ Cruiser did its job. -- Christopher A. Randazzo

ing short of putting it into production. In 2007, the Cruiser made it debut, as a two-door, five-passenger SUV with a pair of smaller, reverse-opening access doors behind the front doors. Now entering its fifth year of production, the FJ Cruiser gets a new audio system, folding rear seat headrests and a unique Army Green color scheme. As expected, the FJ Cruiser is quite an off-roader. But for the

few that decide to buy the Cruiser just on looks alone, it does come as a two-wheel drive model. Most will choose the real-deal and opt for one of the two 4-wheel drive systems available, which offers a locking rear differential and A-Trac – a four-wheel drive traction control system. Along with short approach and departure angles, the FJ Cruiser will give the competition, mainly Nissan XTerra, and Jeep Wrangler, a run for the hills.

10,550 14,237 278 150

Laps run during Sprint Cup races in 2011 Miles run during Sprint Cup races in 2011 Caution periods during Sprint Cup races in 2011 Miles run under caution during the 2011 Daytona 500, the most of any race this year (Source: Dodge Motorsports)

SPOTLIGHT EP NEWS DECEMBER 23, 2011 PAGE 31 best ever by a female in that circuit and the best by a female in a major NASCAR touring series since Sara Christian finished fifth in a race for the series now known as Sprint Cup back on Oct. 2, 1949 at Heidelberg, Pa. Austin and Ty Dillon, the grandsons of team owner Richard Childress, continued to show that they’ll likely have to be reckoned with in the future. Austin, at 21, won two Camping World Truck Series races and held on to beat veteran Johnny Sauter by just six points to take the championship. Younger brother Ty won seven races and the championship of the ARCA series and was remarkably successful in three starts in the Truck Series. He had two top-six finishes and qualified on the outside pole at Homestead. Austin will race in the Nationwide Series in 2012 while Ty will campaign in the truck division. bers of the media, most notably Dr. Jerry Punch, who was on the receiving end of a profanity-laced tirade at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In the end, he and team owner Roger Penske agreed to part ways.

Continued from page 28 At Watkins Glen, Ambrose was finally able to put behind him the blunder he made a year ago at Infineon Raceway when he stalled his car while leading under caution and lost the race. His win also rewarded him in a big way for the gamble he took in leaving behind his successful racing career in his native Australia to start over in NASCAR. At Daytona, David Ragan bounced back from an earlier disappointment in which he lost what appeared to be a great chance to win the Daytona 500 when he was penalized for changing lanes too soon on a restart. In the Coke Zero 400, he turned in a flawless performance to get the win.

9. Johnson’s streak comes to crashing halt
Jimmie Johnson and his No. 48 team never really got in the groove that had led them to five straight Sprint Cup titles, but he was still in the title hunt until he crashed hard at Charlotte during the Chase. After that, he was an also-ran as evidenced by his 32nd-place finish in the season finale. Not only did he not win a sixth consecutive Cup championship, he had the fewest wins of his full-time Cup career (two) and got no poles for the first time. His sixth-place points finish was the worst of his full-time Cup career.

11. Stewart walks off with Sprint Cup championship
Most garage insiders agree that Tony Stewart’s five victories in the Chase including his walk-off title win in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway were due in large part to his outstanding performance behind the wheel. Over the course of the Chase, Stewart made one bold move after another and made most all of them work, bringing to mind performances in years past by legends like A.J. Foyt and Cale Yarborough. The performance by his lame-duck crew chief, who was notified early in the Chase that he was being fired at season’s end, can’t be overlooked. It was Darian Grubb’s call to leave Stewart on the track while others made pit stops in the closing stages at Homestead that gave Stewart the lead over his challenger Carl Edwards.

8. Danica decides to focus on NASCAR
After dabbling in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series on a part-time basis for the past two seasons, IndyCar’s biggest drawing card, Danica Patrick, announced that she was moving to NASCAR full-time in 2012 to run in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. And she showed some progress during her limited appearances in 2011. In March, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway she finished fourth in a Nationwide race, the

10. Busch Brothers face difficulties on, off track
Despite their obvious talent behind the wheel, the two Busch brothers had their problems in 2011. Kyle Busch, who appeared to have bounced back from several earlier incidents including a highway speeding incident where he was ticketed for going 128 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone, was parked for the remainder of the weekend at the fall races at Texas Motor Speedway after he intentionally wrecked Truck Series title contender Ron Hornaday Jr. under caution. His sponsors also scaled back their support over the remainder of the season. Older brother Kurt had on-track issues with drivers including Jimmie Johnson, but his biggest confrontations were with mem-

6. Stenhouse goes from repairman to champion
In 2010, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wrecked so many Nationwide cars that his team owner, Jack Roush, assigned him to duties in the team body shop helping repair the cars he’d been crashing. A year later, he won both races at Iowa Speedway, one of the tracks where he crashed cars the year before. He was rock solid all season and remained strong down the stretch to win the championship. He also turned in a fine performance in his Sprint Cup debut, where he drove the Wood Brothers No. 21 Ford to an 11th-place finish at Charlotte while filling in for ailing teammate Trevor Bayne.

Tony Stewart (NASCAR photo)

7. The Dillon Brothers emerge

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