Executive Director's Report

La Plaza Board of Directors Meeting

July 13, 1998

Proposed Projects
  1. La Plaza has been invited by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to participate in a project titled Environmental Images Digital Library Project: Earth Day 2000! that is being proposed to the National Science Foundation, (NSF). The purpose of the project is to build a self-sustaining national system of community-based environmental image digital libraries. They envision community residents, and especially K-12 students, would contribute environmental images to our virtual library. As La Plaza has an existing virtual library, and various community members have been trained on using the Internet and WWW, the partnership with Oak Ridge National Lab will enhance the community training and content for the library. The initial focus for the project will be Earth Day, April 22, 2000. The goal is to have in place the technology and other arrangements for people to contribute images of their communities and immediate and surrounding environments captured on that day. Technical challenges involve developing software, augmenting digital cameras with devices to automatically add environmental data, and how to structure the meta-data that will accompany the images. (These challenges will solved by ORNL!) I sent a letter of support and participation to ORNL for the proposed project. Should the project be approved, then we will be meeting with Dr. Bruce Tonn, project developer with ORNL, for specific levels of participation. La Plaza will receive national recognition, state-of-the-art digital cameras, and a project for community development and awareness.

  3. Rocky Mountain Youth Corp requested La Plaza participate in a USWEST RFP, Widening Our World (WOW). WOW is an opportunity for economically disadvantaged populations to participate in technology based learning. RMYC will develop the proposal as a training grant to train some of their clients and La Plaza will provide the accessibility and technical consultation. It is a $50,000 grant with dollars for staff, training, hardware, and connectivity. The RFP is due July 15 and the response from USWEST will be the week of October 1, 1998.

  5. The National Cancer Institute has issued an RFP for research applications on health communications in cancer control. La Plaza contacted American Medical Center, AMC, a research center or think tank, in Denver to consider being the lead agency on the RFP and La Plaza being the implementation agency. The RFP is designed to create models to enable people to assess individual risks more appropriately and to make informed decisions about primary, secondary and tertiary prevention of cancer using information technology. The research would examine use of networks of communication, automated response systems and other technologic advances for use in behavioral change programs. Also the effectiveness of the World Wide Web and the ability of the new media to reach specific population segments in reaching objectives related to cancer control. As La Plaza conducted the Department of Commerce grant using information technology to train health care providers and consumers to access health information specific to diabetes; we felt the NCI grant is a perfect avenue to further our technological infrastructure and to continue training and access specific to cancer to the community members in Taos County. Our infrastructure would be enhanced with equipment, public access sites, and T-1 line installation. Again, there will be national recognition and then the educational impact to our communities of learning how to access health information on the Internet and WWW. Barb Hau, Daniel Pruitt, and I had a conference call with AMC on Monday, July 6, 1998. AMC is very interested in the RFP and in partnering with La Plaza; however, as AMC is purely a research facility, they had questions regarding population size of Taos County meeting their requirements for control groups. AMC will be contacting LANL to determine possible partnership with an NTIA Department of Commerce grant hosted at Northern New Mexico Community College in Espanola. Our hope is La Plaza will be able to participate in a proactive way with the NCI grant and AMC. A letter of intent is due July 9, 1998 and as AMC would be the lead agency they will submit the letter. As the project is a research project and requires evaluation of data by Ph.D. Principal Investigators, it is not appropriate for La Plaza to apply. Our role would be that of implementation of the technology and training of the community members in how to access and use the information.

Community Development
  1. Nancy Montano has been assigned to development a Volunteer Recruitment program. Nancy has developed a list of jobs and requirements for volunteers at La Plaza. She will be notifying the public and begin interviewing for placement the end of July. This is a comprehensive volunteer program which includes placement at the Help Desk, but is not limited to just the Help Desk.

  3. La Plaza will hold the first annual computer summer camp the second week of August. There will be space for 8 attendees, ages 12 - 14, with two scholarship spaces. The camp will be Monday though Friday, 9:00 to 12:00, and the participants will learn the basics of the computer, Internet, WWW and will create their own web page. This camp is a pilot project and will help La Plaza determine the community interest and need for youth and possible adult computer camps. Nancy Montano and Loretta Suazo will be the facilitators of the camp.

  5. I met with two women community members and discussed possible interest for Board nominees. I notified Thom Myers of their interest and Thom has contacted and discussed with them Board responsibilities.

  7.  I met with Bill Swann, Chamber of Commerce Business Chair, and we discussed the application to W.K.Kellogg Foundation of the Managing Information in Rural America MIRA) grant. If you recall, this grant provides for 6 - 10 community teams being developed from the small rural towns in Taos County. These teams will be trained with the new information technology and then each will development a community project to be completed within 12 - 18 months. La Plaza will not submit the RFP, but will offer technical advise. If the RFP is approved, then La Plaza will submit a proposal to be one of two Community Organizations which assists the teams with their community projects. The1999 RFP will be published in August and must be submitted in October, 1998. La Plaza will work with the team of community members in developing the RFP.

  1. Daniel Pruitt and I met with Ira Schartz, Thom Myers and Marty Meltzer, members of the Membership Committee, regarding implementation of the new membership requirements. Once the Committee refines the Rights and Responsibilities section, the new and approved Membership policy will be placed on-line. We will also notify the existing users and members of the new policy and where to find the policy documents on our Web Site.

  1. Pamela Alfred, CPA, has taken a job in San Francisco and will be moving the end of July. She recommend Nesbit Hagood & Associates in Santa Fe as Mr. Hagood has experience with accounting methods for nonprofit agencies and Federal funding. I have an appointment with Mr. Hagood to discuss our accounting needs and annual audit.

  3. June Financial Statements: See Attached (not published on Web site)

  1. Mike Ortiz, Help Desk Assistant, has resigned effective July 10, to pursue his academic career at Santa Fe Community College. Loretta Suazo and I are interviewing applicants to replace Mike.

June Monthly Statistics

Public Access Users

Location  # users  # hours  average 
La Plaza (Taos) 1073 1073  1:00 
Penasco 233 668  2:52 
Questa 334 202.15  0:37 
San Cristobal n/a    


Class  # participants 
Easy Web Page Design 7
Promoting Your Web Site 7
Public Orientation 13
Intro to Email 7
Intro to WWW 8
Total 52
Kellogg-sponsored teacher training began with inital classes held in Penasco (5 teachers) and Questa (14 teachers).


New Primary Accounts  57
New Secondary Accts  25
Reactivated Accts  14
Free/Scholarship 1
Total 97

Telephone Statistics

Category # calls
Tech Support Calls 391
Billing  87
New Accounts  47
Hours 22
Classes  30
Web Site  2
Voice Mail  23
Other  230
Total 832

Dial-in Statistics

Location #Users #Dial-in Connect Time (hrs)
Taos 1099 52944  19,359.18 
Penasco 56 1802   
Questa 92 3763   
Total 1597 1221
(76% of total users)

Respectfully submitted,

Judith Pepper, Executive Director, La Plaza Telecommunity