Dina Aita is only 16 years old, but has probably seen more than any of her peers. She lives in Gaza, but has spent the past school year on exchange at Sedona Red Rock High School. In an interview with the Sedona Red Rock News, she discussed her time in the United States and her life back home.

Q: Why did you want to go on exchange and how did you end up in the United States?

A: The basic two reasons for me to go on exchange .... the first one is to get out of Gaza. It’s hard to travel, so I wanted to see the outside world and this was the first opportunity for me to travel out of Gaza.

Sedona temporarily became a hub for top neuroscientists from across the country.

The Spring Brain Conferences celebrated their 16th anniversary March 16 to 19 at Poco Diablo Resort and for the first time also held an outreach program in Sedona, consisting of a free community event at the Sedona Performing Arts Center as well as presentations in science classes at Sedona-Oak Creek schools.

Last year marked the deadliest on record for transgender people, with 27 reported homicides. Most of the victims were transgender women of color. In the first three months of 2017, eight murders have been recorded — all of the victims were transgender women of color.

When some retire, they may move to a warmer climate, take up golf or spend more time with the grandchildren. But for one Sedona Police Department retiree, his days will be spent catching up one some needed rest with a daily dose of fetch thrown in to help keep him in shape.

During the Tuesday, March 14, Sedona City Council meeting, Dalan, SPD’s K-9, was recognized by Mayor Sandy Moriarty with a proclamation for dedication of service for the past seven years.

With their familiar tan cowboy hats and grey shirts, the Sedona Volunteer Park Rangers have been a mainstay in the Uptown area for the past 10 years, helping thousands of visitors along the way.

“The Rangers are important to this department, this city and its visitors,” said Parks and Recreation Manager Rachel Murdoch, whose department the program falls under. “They provide year-round hospitality in all sorts of weather without complaint. They are valuable to other event promoters in town and are always genuinely happy to help out at a community event. We appreciate their time and dedication to their cause.”

Five filmmakers gathered at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre Thursday, Feb. 23 to discuss the challenges of being a woman while working in a male-dominated industry. The panel was part of the Sedona International Film Festival’s Filmmaker Conversations series and was moderated by Susie Singer Carter, writer and director of the narrative short “My Mom and The Girl.”

She was joined by Jennifer Kramer, creator of the feature film “The Sand Box,” Deborah LaVine, director of the narrative feature “Wild Prairie Rose,” Monika Wilczynska, creator of the short film “Who I Am,” and Katie Stjernholm, writer, director and producer of the documentary short “Edges.”

John Paul DeJoria’s message is simple. Regardless if you have $1,000 in your bank account or $1 billion, everyone can do their part to help their fellow man and the planet whether through their time or donations.

DeJoria, the co-founder of Paul Mitchell Professional Hair Products and Patron tequila, has promised to give away at least half his fortune — currently estimated at $3.3 billion — to charitable organizations while he is alive or shortly after his death.

At times you’ll hear someone say, “That person was meant to have that job.” Patrick Schweiss is one of those people.

For the last 13 years Schweiss has been the face — and executive director — of the Sedona International Film Festival. During the nine-day event he is everywhere and approaches each film, special appearance or concert with the same enthusiasm and showmanship.

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