The Five Cities Fire Authority is sponsoring a blood drive Monday for United Blood Services.
The blood drive will be from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Fire Authority’s headquarters, 140 Traffic Way.
The fire authority serves Arroyo Grande, Grover Beach and Oceano.
— Cynthia Lambert
A Lopez High School senior has won this year’s local Poetry Out Loud competition.
Kaden Howard, who competed in February against students from five other San Luis Obispo County high schools, traveled to Sacramento to compete against 32 other students in the state finals today and Monday.
“I was shocked, to put it lightly,” said Howard, whose participation in last year’s competition was hampered by a cold. “I did not expect to win. My competitors were really great last year, and I didn’t think I was at their level, and when they called my name, I was like, ‘What?’ ”
Howard, 18, will present three poems during the state competition; the winner will compete at the national finals in Washington, D.C., in April.
He has selected Edgar Allan Poe’s “Alone,” Nick Flynn’s “Cartoon Physics, part 1,” and “Dog,” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
“It’s pretty much a voice competition,” Howard explained. “It’s all about interpretation.”
For example, he recites from memory Poe’s poem in a lonely, despairing voice, while his recitation of Flynn’s work is lighthearted.
Howard will graduate this year and plans to attend Allan Hancock College before transferring to another school to study animation or illustration.
The county’s fifth annual competition was organized by the Arts Council of San Luis Obispo County.
Howard competed against five other students: Jake O’Connor, a senior at San Luis Obispo High School, who won second place; Blythe Berg, a Mission Prep junior; Holly Patterson, a Nipomo High junior; Amanda Raver, a Morro Bay High senior; and Austin Wiemann, a North County Christian junior.
The state competition will be webcast live on the California Channel at www.calchannel.com.
— Cynthia Lambert
Discussions about anger management and nonviolent communication highlight the agenda for Paso Robles High School’s observance of National Youth Violence Prevention Week, beginning Monday.
Students at the high school have planned several activities to raise consciousness about youth violence and ways to reduce it.
Called “We Are One/Somos Uno,” the weeklong event offers a specific violence prevention strategy each day.
On Monday, the documentary “Bullies” will be screened, followed by a question-and-answer session, plus a survey.
On Tuesday, Karolyn London, of Lifestyles Recovery Center, will present skills in a “Manage Your Anger” workshop.
On Wednesday, Alicia Nowicki, of Compassionate Communication, will teach nonviolent communication skills.
And Thursday will feature Jeremy Bates, of Revolution Speak, offering a motivational mini-assembly.
On Friday, students are invited to represent their culture and/or ethnicity with a display table during Unite in Action — Cultural Day.
For more information, contact Anne Quinn at 835-8705, or counselor Xelina Rojas at 237-3333.
— Pat Pemberton