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Community Grapevine

Better get a sticker for your car; or take a toboggan

Heads up to drivers: as of the first of July, you now officially need a special sticker to drive on Slovak highways (the purchase price of the sticker, 200 Sk for passenger cars, covers the new road tax). The system works like the Czech Republic's: buy a sticker at the post office or at the border and attach it to the front windshield of your car; drivers without stickers risk a fine of 800 Sk.

Interested in learning more about the Bahai religion? Bahais believe in the modern principles of peace, truth and non-discrimination, as revealed by the founder of the faith 150 years ago. There have been Bahais in the Czech and Slovak Republic since the turn of the century, and August 3-7 a group of them will be gathering at the Domov Mládeže at Staničná 8 in Trenčín for a summer school. Newcomers are welcome to come learn more - English speakers would be best off at the slide show on August 4 or the August 7 talk about parenting by an American couple who run a Bahai school located in southern Bohemia. Further events will follow the summer school in Bratislava at the end of the month (which we'll announce); for more information on the summer school contact the Bratislava Bahai Center, PO Box 63, tel: 07/531-8191, fax: 07/531-8191.

On the Web: Students interested in retrieving information on postgraduate and MBA study in Great Britain can check out two sites on the Internet: A Guide to Postgraduate Study in the UK and A Guide to MBAs, at http://www.MerlinFalcon.co.uk.

Beyond the Olympics, Slovaks are doing well in overseas competition. The Mucha Brothers' Folk Band from Terchová took first prize for folk bands at an international folk festival in Llangolen, England. It was the group's first visit to the competition, which had over 3,000 entrants. Meanwhile, in Powell River, Canada, the Slovak Teachers Choir took first place in the sixth annual International Choral Contest Kathamix '96. The 40-person choir, which is celebrating its 75th year, also arranged several concerts of Slovak music for Slovak expatriates living in Canada.

Thrill-seekers in Bratislava can now get their fill. Just head up to the new toboggan ride on the top of Koliba. The 360-meter long twister, a wooden luge run equipped with 36 plastic sleds, snakes down alongside the small ski hill below the television tower Kamzík. Rides cost 35 Sk apiece; 3 rides are 90 Sk and, if for those who just can't get enough, five rides run 130 Sk. Besides the action-packed run, another great feature is a newly-installed ski tow that pulls you and your sled back up from the bottom. Open 10:00-13:00 and 14:00-19:00, daily through November.

Architects from New York, Los Angeles, and Ames, Iowa, are among the speakers at ArchFest '96, a series of seminars and workshops on architecture being held in Bratislava through August 9. Greg Lynn and Jason Payne are among a group of American and Slovak architects, theoreticians, art historians, and philosophers who are sharing their expertise with students and members of the public at the Academy of Fine Arts and Gallery Médium on Bratislava's Hviezdoslavovo nám. For more information, call 07/533-5743.

The Slovak Cabinet agreed to have members of the British armed forces train Slovak pilots in helicopter reconnaissance as part of the Partnership for Peace program, which aims to help integrate Slovakia and other countries into NATO.

Diplomatic acumen also plays a role, but if slugging percentage were a factor in selecting U.S. ambassadors, few who were at the Nové Mesto softball field on July 21 would be surprised. In his first appearance on a Slovak diamond, Ambassador Ralph Johnson led his team to a 3-2 victory with stellar shortstop play and a home run to left field. What will football season bring?

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