South County Beat: A.G. man honored for contributions

Arroyo Grande resident Ed Avila has been awarded a lifetime achievement award from the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Awards Corporation for his extensive contributions to science programs and academia at the university and high school levels.

Avila, a scientist for Lockheed Martin in Santa Maria, taught engineering and math at Cal Poly after retiring from the U.S. Air Force in 1993.

He developed and taught the university’s first senior capstone Spacecraft Design course, according to a statement from the corporation.

His background includes several teaching stints including serving as a faculty member at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

He was given the award mainly for excellence in curriculum innovation, subject competence and the ability to motivate students. His achievements also include developing an on-campus robotics program at Allan Hancock College for Hispanic high school students.

Avila founded the Endeavour Academy, a high school engineering science program that has been marketed to several school districts in California.

Avila and his wife, Rebeca, also worked together to develop and teach hands-on science seminars to children of migrant workers as after-school enrichment programs, according to the statement.

The classes were held in a local community center and on Saturdays at a high school for elementary and middle school students on the Central Coast.

Avila received the award Oct. 9.

— Sona Patel

Grover Beach gets grant for bike plan

Grover Beach received an $11,520 grant from Caltrans to create a bicycle master plan.

The Community Based Transportation Planning grant is awarded by Caltrans to encourage communities to examine bike paths and transportation needs in their area.

The grants are awarded yearly by Caltrans on a competitive basis.

A Caltrans spokesman said Grover Beach residents had been asking for bicycle improvements for a while.

Having a state-approved bike plan will make the city eligible to apply for state funding to build new bike facilities such as bike lanes and bike paths.

— Sona Patel

Nipomo High’s new look at ‘Macbeth’

The high school’s fall theatrical lineup kicks off with the adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

Performances take place in Olympic Hall on the high school’s campus Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Doors open at 7 p.m. Presale tickets are $8 for students and seniors, $10 for adults, and can be purchased from any drama student or from the activity office by calling 474-6000.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for an additional $2.

Nipomo High student Rochelle Williams stars as Lady Macbeth. Macbeth is played by Brett Bey.

— Sona Patel