December 8, 2003 Vol. VIII, No. 4



News Briefs

Parking Lot Solar Panels to Provide Power, Shade

A Physical Plant Management (PPM) project installing more than 2900 solar modules in the B2 faculty/staff parking lot, located between Darby Avenue and West University Drive/Etiwanda Avenue in the campus' southwestern sector, is expected to reduce Cal State Northridge's electrical energy cost by $100,000 per year.

In addition to the hefty savings, the broad photovoltaic panels will provide faculty and staff with abundant shade during warm weather, along with an environmental bonus: a reduction in carbon emissions by an amount equal to what an average passenger car produces on a 1.48 million-mile drive.

Northridge's College of Engineering and Computer Science is working with PPM on the project, which will feed solar energy directly to the high voltage infrastructure that powers many campus buildings, said Thomas Brown, PPM director. The college has committed a complement of engineering student majors for portions of the construction and for internship assignments.

Up to 50 percent of the projected $3.4 million cost will be handled by the Southern California Gas Company through a rebate from the California Public Utilities Commission, Brown said.

With each solar panel producing 160 watts of power, the project's peak 467,000-watt generating capacity is about twice that of the student parking Lot E6 photovoltaic project at the northern end of campus.

Final touches on the shade-giving project should be complete by summer 2004, Brown said. Upon completion, the only difference in access to the lot will be a maximum height limitation of eight feet two inches, to ensure that a vehicle taller than the shade structure does not enter the lot. Brown noted that even with the height limit, most large passenger vehicles and pick-up trucks should have no trouble using the lot.

The same number of parking spaces—508—will be available for use as before the project began, Brown added. While construction is underway, spaces will remain accessible except for those in the row where panels are being installed, resulting in a parking space loss of less than 20 percent at a time.

Since the bulk of the work will take place during the semester break, noted PPM administrative analyst/specialist James Valiensi, any inconvenience will be held to a minimum.

For more information, call PPM at (818) 677-2325.

Scholars, Artists Pay Tribute to Music Professor Emeritus

Acclaimed Hispanic artists and academics from around the world pay tribute to Cal State Northridge music professor emeritus Aurelio de la Vega in the latest issue of Encuentro, an international magazine that celebrates Cuban culture.

Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana, a Madrid-based international association dedicated to Cuban culture, devoted much of its spring/summer 2003 magazine to the life and contributions of the celebrated composer, essayist and lecturer.

"It's a big, big honor," said de la Vega, whose frequently performed body of work ranges from symphonic pieces to electronic music. "What they have written has moved me deeply."

Cuban-American pianist Martha Marchena—who performs on a recently released recording of de la Vega's "Complete Piano Works"—will play selections from the recording in a campus Music Recital Hall performance set for 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21.

The Encuentro essayists examine de la Vega's contributions to music, the historical importance of his creative output and his extensive activities as a composer.

Contributors included historian Rafael Rojas, a member of Mexico's Institute of Economic and Educational Investigations; poet and essayist Enrico Mario Santí, professor of Latin American literature at the University of Kentucky; Carlos Luis, art historian and painter; Angel Marrero, painter and graphic designer; Nivaria Tejera, novelist and poet; poet Laura Ymayo Tartakoff, professor of jurisprudence at Case Western Reserve University; and painter/essayist Ramón Alejandro.

An interview with de la Vega by poet/essayist Néstor Diaz de Villegas, columnist for the Miami Herald, also is part of the tribute.

Havana-born de la Vega was dean of Cuba's School of Music at Universidad de Oriente and music advisor to its National Institute of Culture. In 1959, he became a music professor at San Fernando Valley State College, now Cal State Northridge.

De la Vega retired from the university in 1993 but continues to compose, write and travel the world, lecturing.

Sam Britten, or "Dr. Sam," is joined by Interim Provost Linda Bain (far left), College of Health and Human Development Dean Helen Castillo, and Kinesiology Department chair Carole Oglesby (far right), at a retirement tribute to Britten's 45 years at Northridge. Britten founded and directed the Abbott and Linda Brown Western Center for Adaptive Aquatic Therapy and the Center of Achievement for the Physically Disabled.


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