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Science and care preserve DCs original cherry trees

Thursday, March 22, 2012SILVER CITY DAILY PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) The pink and white cherry blossoms that color the nations capital and draw a million visitors each spring began with trees that have survived for a century. It was 100 years ago this month when first lady Helen Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted two Yoshino cherry trees on the bank of Washingtons Tidal Basin. They were the first of 3,000 planted as part of a gift from the city of Tokyo as a symbol of friendship. The original pair still stands, along with about 100 of the original trees transported from Japan. Arborists and horticulturists working for the National Park Service have taken special care of the original cherry trees, pruning and watering them to keep them alive as long as possible, said spokesman Bill Line. Cherry trees typically live about 60 years in high traffic areas where soil and roots become compacted beneath visitors feet. None of us were around then and obviously the people who planted the trees then are no longer with us now, Line said. So the trees are the living links to the beginning of a tradition, he said, that literally timeless connection that we have. Its a tradition that almost didnt happen. In 1910, a first gift of 2,000 trees was shipped from Japan to Washington. But agriculture officials discovered the trees were infested with insects and diseased, and they were burned. Diplomats wrote letters of regret to officials in Tokyo. Two years later, they tried again with a shipment of 3,000 trees that made it to Washington in good condition.

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Capek is medical director at GRMC laboratory


NOTE: This is the seventh in a multipart series describing the various departments within the Gila Regional Medical Center laboratory. By ROGER LANSE Daily Press Staff Dr. Pavel Capek, medical director of the Gila Regional Medical Center laboratory, had completed his residency at the University of Texas Medical Center in Houston in 1999 and was wondering how to find a position in the job-scarce pathology field, when his friend suggested they take a drive to see the Grand Canyon. On the way to Arizona, they stopped in Silver City, Capek said, and he learned GRMC was looking for a pathologist. With no forewarning to hospital staff, he walked in and applied for the position. While not hired on the spot, his visit was welcomed and a few months later, after fulfilling the jobs requirements, he became the labs pathologist in 1999. Capek is a native of Czechoslovakia, which is now divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He has relatives in both countries. Born in Pilsner, and raised as a child in Rosenthal and Primbram, Capek graduated from medical school in Prague in 1982. Capeks role as pathologist, he said, is directing the medical part of the lab, including solving medical or diagnostic problems. Capek is not an employee of GRMC, but works under contract. The pathology section of the lab receives specimens from surgery and occasionally from the emergency room. The specimen is identified and the diagnosis is returned to the physician. A $20,000 microscope occupies center stage on Capeks desk. While he can observe a sample through eyepieces in the normal fashion, two other sets of eyepieces are attached to the end of a 3-foot-long tube to the right of the device, where two other observers can see the same image Capek does. Capek stated, For a small hospital we have the best equipment and people who are well-trained. For example, Mike (Michael Ybarra featured in the March 14 issue of the Daily Press) has advanced train-

DR. PAVEL CAPEK

(Press Staff Photo by Roger Lanse)

ing and can do all things in specimen preparation. In a normal large lab, he might be restricted to tediously repeating one job, say slicing or staining specimens. What I like least about my job, Capek said, in his easily understandable Czech accent, is feeling a little isolated. In Houston I had lots of colleagues to ask opinions. I dont have that so much here.

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Bicyclist Huijg now headed to South Pole


By ROGER LANSE Daily Press Staff Aart Huijg, the 31-year-old bicyclist from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, who stopped in Silver City on Nov. 9, 2011, on his way from the North Pole to the South Pole, reports he has now passed through Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and is now resting in Managua, Nicaragua. Huijg started his trek July 14, 2011, from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and hopes to reach the city of Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego Province in Argentina, in mid-2013. He sent the following updates via email on Thursday, March 8, and Wednesday, March 21: MARCH 8: Man, the last three months have been tough. Lots of changes. Right now, I am in Guatemala, in the center of Maya culture. I am sleeping in a hammock to get some distance from all creatures on the ground. It got really hot and very humid. The shade of palm trees and banana plants covers the roads. Lines marking the road are absent. People in Guatemala have been very friendly again. They greet me by flickering their lights. Along the street, people wave at me. Not by pointing a modest finger. No, the full hand goes up and waves side to side, as an overenthusiastic child. Every house has its pig and chicken. People are poor. Their houses are made of aluminum boards. The grass on the side of the roads is being cut by machetes, an impressively tough job. Cars are almost absent. Most people cannot afford them and therefore they move around on motors. These weeks are really hard for me. In Palenque (Mexico) I got a sunstroke. The sun is so intense and I forgot to drink sufficiently. Consequently, I lost appetite and was dizzy. Every ten minutes I stopped at the side of the road and hang with my head over my steer. Today, I did not get further than seven miles. At times, I feel lonely. I miss home, the warmth of friends and family around me. The comforts of my house. Also, by now, I know what cycling is about. I have covered 8,000 miles, but still 10,000 lie ahead of me. That is still ahead. So basically, I am in the middle of everything. Not fresh on the road, nor heading to my final destination. Strange

STOP TO POSE Aart Huijg poses with high school students near Ocuituco, Morelos, Mexico.

(Courtesy Photo)

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how in life your mental shape matters so much for your physical performance. A great lesson! I have been giving several school presentations. Lots of laughing, good replies and enthusiastic Facebook followers! Tomorrow, I plan to wake up early and make some miles. MARCH 21: After leaving Mexico City, I entered a surprisingly humid climate. The environment changed dramatically. Heat and jungle. In the village of Ocuituco, Morelos, Mexico, a couple of miles from the Popocatlpetl volcano, I stopped and met a regional politician. I stayed at this former teachers house and followed her for a day in her political activities. With lots of alcohol and a mariachi band entering the luxurious palm tree bar, she tried to convince the man in charge to pick her as party candidate (for national parliament). The second day, I presented Today You Can! at two high schools. Over 100 students attended at each school and they welcomed me and the message enthusiastically. Fear is a fun killer, and risks hide opportunities! Whether it was for the message or my blue eyes, over 30 girl high school students pulled me deep into the forests to take many

JUST PASSING THROUGH Aart Huijg bicycles through Ocuituco, Morelos, Mexico.

(Courtesy Photo)

Facebook fully-clothed model shoots. Many of them are on my Facebook now. The school presentations have become a real show. On the stage I hang my hammock and set out all cooking utensils. I get them laughing by telling my age (17, Oh, no, that is how old I feel). Passing through Guatemala and Honduras I am taking a rest in Managua, Nicaragua, for the coming week. I forgot to mention the encounters with all the Central Americans who want to, or who went, to the U.S. I took the same roads going south as they used to get closer to the U.S. border. Weird to see them walking in the heat. They passed me in groups with a coyote guiding them around the police and border checkpoints. I took those same roads.

When Huijg speaks at schools, he tells the students, Explore your limits, find what you love to do and then do it. He can be reached via email at todayyoucanmail@gmail .com or by accessing his website www.today-you-can.com.

Those desiring to help Huijg financially can transfer funds via Paypal to his email address, he said.

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