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March 27, 2006

Falconville Story

In looking for a more efficient way to run the city, the Falconville City
Council appointed the first City Administrator last night. The city is
undergoing this structural change to achieve less day-to-day management by
council members and a centralization of authority.

Newly appointed City Administrator, Joan Bell, will officially become
administrative head of the Falconville government at the beginning of next
month. Bell will be responsible for the efficient administration of all of
the affairs of the city.

A large reason for inventing this new position of City Administrator
is to keep one person in charge of the department heads especially with
shrinking revenues. Through consoldiating duties into one office, the City
Council will efficiently save money.

"This is the wisest move we've made in some time," says Vice-Mayor,
Luis Gomez.

The City Council has added $90,000 to the new position in the annual
budget, but cut several times that from other parts. One third of that money
is for staff help and set-up supplies.

One main task of the City Administrator is to prepare and submit the
proposed annual budget plan to the City Council for its approval.

"City Administrator Bell can take some credit for whipping the budget
into shape early," says Mayor Henry Smith.

Bell, who has been serving as acting administrator for the past
month, has been praised for adopting the budget early this year which is the
first time in the last 13 years.

"Most employees got a 4% pay raise and the police got a 5% raise. We
also eliminated some duplication and trimmed some costly services. The total
budget is down,"
says Joan Bell.

The City Administrators duties also involve enforcing all the laws
and ordinances of the city.

In other action, the council:

- reviewed the proposed budget and recommended property tax rate for next fiscal year, which begins at the first of next month. The City Council recommends a $2.1 million budget, down from $2.4 million last year.

- resolved that parking shall be limited to two hours between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., on any day, except Sundays and legal holidays, on theNorth side of East Kern Street between J Street and the alley between J
and K Streets.
-reviewed the new Sister City program in Falconville. The city will become a "sister city" with Malsch, Germany, meaning it will have a cultral exchange and a means for people to become better acquainted
with people from another part of the world.

- decided to discontinue the expensive service of police walking
patrols at city Little Leagues games sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department. Instead, they will be providing the game announcers witha two-way radio in case police presence is needed.

-approved this year's Falconville Gala to be held the last weekend of next month. The Gala parade will be Saturday at 10 a.m.

March 8, 2006

Final Event Story

Breathing. Balance. Flexibility. Strength. Stabilization.

These are the key elements to the Pilates conditioning of the body. Pilates is a popular form of exercise that focuses on the abdominal muscles also known as the “core?.

“Pilates is wonderful for your mind, body, and soul,? says Kate Harsma.

Harsma, a Pilates instructor for the UMD Fitness Center and Center for Personal Fitness, held a Pilates class during the UMD Health Fair Wednesday.

The UMD Health Services decided to make a change to their annual event held each spring and add three exercise activities including Pilates, Jazzercise, and yoga.

“This way people can try something new that is good for their bodies,? said Harsma.

A few students and a couple professors gathered mats and laid them on the floor to learn the basics of Pilates in the Garden Room. The group of new Pilates participants struggled to find their balance as Harsma taught the basic movements.

“People think Pilates is easy. The only reason I can do these movements is because I’ve been doing this for 3 years,? said Harsma.

Across the hall from the Pilates room, the Rafters were full of students and faculty receiving information about different aspects of life and health. In all, there were 16 different booths set up for everyone to educate themselves on certain health issues such as effects of smoking and drinking, sexually
transmitted diseases, and organ donation.

“The purpose of this annual event is to educate students on their health,? said Shelly DeCaigney, the head coordinator of the Health Fair. “We hold this event every spring before spring break because it is a high target risk to students.?