Congratulations to Ekta Bhakta, who is the new president of the Rotary Club of Carlsbad. Ekta’s family came in for the special ceremony on Wednesday. She’s certainly one of Carlsbad’s busiest individuals, as she also serves as the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad and leads the board with the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. The Boys & Girls Club is having an extremely busy summer, thanks to Ekta and all of the employees at the Club working so hard to organize numerous field trips and projects.
Khushroo Ghadiali becomes Rotary’s Past President, and Karla Hamel Niemeier is now the Club’s President Elect, with Benjamin Freston serving as the new vice president.
The Rotary Club of Carlsbad recently received awards for Club of the Year, Expanding our Reach and Engaging our Participants. The club meets every Wednesday. The Rotary’s biggest fundraiser is the yearly Pancake Breakfast, which helps raise funds to support student scholarships and other causes in the community. It’s an outstanding organization that does a lot of good in this community.
Congratulations as well to Carlsbad MainStreet on being one of the 260 grantees of the 2022 AARP Community Challenge grant program. Carlsbad MainStreet will use the grant funds to improve safety and create easier access to the Downtown District by repainting our crosswalks. AARP is investing $3.4 million in grants across the country. According to MainStreet Director Kat Davis, the project’s Assistant Director, Evenid Manzo, worked very hard to put together this grant application.
More good news thanks to the rain. Over the past two weeks, Carlsbad Caverns National Park has received 2.26 inches of rain, according to a press release. The Park has therefore opened the Carlsbad Caverns Wilderness Area, Walnut Canyon Desert Drive, Yucca Canyon Road and Slaughter Canyon Road. These areas had previously been closed due to the drought. Some fire restrictions are still in place, and overnight backcountry camping is still prohibited.
It has been a year now since our community lost Captain James Williams, a retired police officer who was another one of Carlsbad’s most active and involved citizens. We want members of Captain Williams’ family to know that he is still missed and that we still appreciate everything he did for our community. Captain Williams’ wife, Julia, is another outstanding Carlsbad citizen. This past week, Julia was one of several volunteers who helped run a STEM event at the Carlsbad Museum. Thank you to Dr. Joy-James Foster and everyone with the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Committee for putting together this event.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway