Education Pioneers: CEC Co-Founders Retire After 4 Decades

Photos courtesy Child Educational Center
Elyssa and Eric Nelson have fun at the Child Educational Center’s Oak Grove preschool yard in the early 1980s.

When Eric and Elyssa Nelson founded the Child Educational Center more than 40 years ago, they aimed to create not just a child-care facility but a center to foster the holistic psychological and physical development of children, largely through healthful outdoor play.
“We thought of ourselves as creating a community, not a child-care center. We knew that happy teachers make happy children make happy parents. … We wanted love to be at the center of what we were doing,” said Eric Nelson, who was asked by Caltech and Jet Propulsion Laboratory officials to help expand child-care options for employees and establish a La Cañada Flintridge campus, which opened in 1979.
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Paul Frederick Vickers – Obituary

9/18/1928 – 7/03/2020

Paul Frederick Vickers

Paul Frederick Vickers passed away peacefully Friday, July 3, 2020 at his daughter’s home in Henderson, Nevada, where he temporarily resided. He was surrounded by his wife, Bonnie, and immediate family. He was 91 years old.
Paul was born in Cleveland, Ohio on September 18, 1928 to parents George & Florence (Price) Vickers.
He was drafted into the US Army where he served in the Korean War from 1950-1952. He moved to the La Cañada Flintridge area after being discharged where he met his wife, Florence (Bonnie) Lizakowski, at CF Braun Co. in Alhambra where they both worked. They were married on June 5, 1954 in San Marino, California. They celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary on June 5, 2020. They moved to their forever home in La Cañada Flintridge, where they raised two daughters, Sheri and Ellen, and enjoyed a beautiful life surrounded by a large extended close-knit family & dear friends. He lived by his strong Catholic faith and was devoted to his Catholic community at St Bede’s the Venerable Catholic Church, where he was a long-time usher and active member of the congregation. Although he enjoyed all sports, he was most excited to watch his Los Angeles Dodgers, LA Rams (& Cleveland Browns) and all of his College Ohio-based teams where was from.
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NASA-JPL, ‘Chernobyl’ Win Creative Arts Emmys

Team members from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Public Engagement and Digital News offices gathered on stage
Photos courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
Team members from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Public Engagement and Digital News offices gathered on stage with those of the Mars InSight mission and with JPL Deputy Director Larry James at the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy awards last weekend, where they won for outstanding original interactive program. The awards were held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

La Cañada Flintridge’s influence was clearly on display at the Creative Arts Emmy event last weekend. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory won an Emmy for outstanding original interactive program for NASA’s InSight Mars mission on NASA TV, while LCF resident Craig Mazin’s HBO drama “Chernobyl” took home seven awards. Continue reading “NASA-JPL, ‘Chernobyl’ Win Creative Arts Emmys”

JPL Has Jobs for Non-Scientists Too, Workers Tell Students

You don’t have to be a scientist or engineer to work at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Attendees at a recent STEAM event at La Cañada High School learned from NASA JPL employees that there are numerous kinds of jobs for people with varied talents at the national research facility that, as its website says, carries out Earth science and robotic space missions. Continue reading “JPL Has Jobs for Non-Scientists Too, Workers Tell Students”

Faith Comes Easily to Explorer of Heavens

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK Dave Gallagher of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was the keynote speaker for this year’s YMCA of the Foothills’ prayer breakfast.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Dave Gallagher of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was the keynote speaker for this year’s YMCA of the Foothills’ prayer breakfast.

He may be engaged in the hunt for cold, hard facts about the universe in his expansive work for Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but Dave Gallagher is also a seeker of spirituality.
Gallagher, associate director for strategic integration overseeing strategy, technology and formulation at the NASA facility, shared his search for a greater good at the YMCA of the Foothills’ annual prayer breakfast, where food, faith and positive outreach are served up simultaneously. Continue reading “Faith Comes Easily to Explorer of Heavens”

Spacecraft’s ‘Grand Finale’ Launches LCF Residents to an Emmy

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK Holding the Emmy statuette, producer, host and writer Gay Yee Hill is flanked by Cassini project manager Earl Maize and navigation team chief Duane Roth.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Holding the Emmy statuette, producer, host and writer Gay Yee Hill is flanked by Cassini project manager Earl Maize and navigation team chief Duane Roth.

It was called the “Grand Finale.” After exploring Saturn for 13 years, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft ran out of fuel and was intentionally crashed, amid live coverage.
But no fewer than three La Cañada Flintridge residents who worked on the project were among Jet Propulsion Laboratory workers who experienced yet another big finish — sharing in an Emmy Award for original interactive program for coverage of Cassini’s spectacular dive, in which the spacecraft sent data back to Earth even in its final seconds, more than a year ago. Continue reading “Spacecraft’s ‘Grand Finale’ Launches LCF Residents to an Emmy”

Space Academy Launches Partnership With School in Spain

Artur Chmielewski
Artur Chmielewski

Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been running its Space Academy for five years, but starting this year the program will be coordinated with a school in La Cañada Flintridge’s sister city, SEK International School in Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain.
The communities are sister cities because they share similarities beyond the name. The European Space Astronomy Center is located in Villanueva de La Cañada, just as JPL is located here, prompting the two cities to coordinate on a science program.
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JPL Hosts ‘Inspiring Visit’ by VP Pence

Photos courtesy NASA/Bill Ingalls
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence gives commands to a rover nicknamed “Scarecrow” as (from left) NASA Mars Exploration manager Li Fuk, Mars Curiosity Engineering Operations team chief Megan Lin, JPL Director Michael Watkins and daughter of Mike Pence, Charlotte Pence look on Saturday.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was in the neighborhood Saturday, touring Jet Propulsion Laboratory before heading to a series of stops elsewhere in Southern California.
After his visit to the NASA campus, Pence tweeted: “Inspiring visit to Jet Propulsion Laboratory! Thanks to the team at @NASAJPL for your leadership in unmanned space exploration since 1957! Under @POTUS Trump. America is leading in space again!” Continue reading “JPL Hosts ‘Inspiring Visit’ by VP Pence”

Obituary: Dudley Bradstreet Killam Jr.

Dudley Bradstreet Killam Jr.

Dudley Bradstreet Killam Jr. of La Cañada Flintridge, father, husband, veteran and engineer, passed away on Thanksgiving at the age of 70 from a heart attack, surrounded by family. Born Oct. 15, 1947 in Reading, Massachusetts, to Dudley and Flora Killam, he attended high school at Haverhill High School near Atkinson, New Hampshire. He obtained a bachelor’s in chemistry and mathematics from the University of New Hampshire as an ROTC distinguished graduate and then completed master’s degrees in applied statistics and image science at Rochester Institute of Technology, also studying meteorology and analytical chemistry at Texas A&M. Dudley was truly a lifelong learner. He served for 30 years in the Air Force, rising to the rank of colonel and managing satellite programs, including the $4.3 billion Defense Support Program, which tracks missile launches via infrared imaging. He earned the Legion of Merit in acknowledgement of the crucial expertise he brought to this project and many others.
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