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Today's Features

  • This Sunday will mark the 71st anniversary of the Trinity Test, the first test  of an actual nuclear weapon. The test took place in the Jornada Del Muerto Desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

    At Fuller Lodge this weekend, the birth of the atomic bomb will be remembered in an hour and a half, thought-provoking performance that will include poetry by former Los Alamos native Allison Cobb, art by Japanese artist Yukiyo Kawano and dance by Butoh dancer Meshi Chavez. Stephen Miller and Lisa DeGrace will be providing the music and visual effects.

    The performance will actually center around the Aug. 9 bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, when the plutonium “Fat Man” bomb was dropped. Kawano created a replica of the Fat Man bomb from World War II era kimonos sewn together with Kawano’s hair. She has grandparents that survived the Hiroshima bombing on Aug. 6. The kimonos came from a shop owned by one of her grandmothers.

    The event is sponsored in part by the LA History museum.

    “When viewed together, the multiple perspectives from Los Alamos and Japan creates a more holistic history than what can be understood from only one point of view,” LA History Museum Director Judith Stauber said. 

  • I am loving summer, I hope you are too.

    I love the way things slow down, even though lately I haven’t seemed to get anything extra done.

    I hope you plan to participate in the Los Alamos County 100 Aha Moments photo contest. If you aren’t much of a contest participant, but like taking photographs, give it a try and support a new idea.

    Check out the County’s Instagram page, shoot a photo of your own and post it with the #100AHAMoments. The number sign for our young generation is called a “Hashtag,” and while I try not to be judgmental someone actually named their child that about a year ago. He isn’t reading yet and the family doesn’t live here, so I feel safe in sharing the story.

    I am not an Instagram kinda person, but I may give it a whirl as I do like to photograph almost anything.

    Last weekend I photographed a lot of local activities as we try and take advantage of all fun, free things while our company is visiting.

    This is an excellent time to just relax with some fun, new summer television shows too.

  • The recent rains have brought out a variety of different flowers, transitioning our landscape into the colors of summer. Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Jemez Mountain Herbarium curator Chick Keller will lead this year’s Wildflower Walks. These monthly outings will be easy walks to identify some of the wildflower beauties found in and around Los Alamos. Each time Keller will pick a different trail, depending on what is blooming at the time. The walks are free and there is no advance registration required.
    The Wildflower Walks will take place one Monday a month for the season. Since he wasn’t able to lead a walk in June, there will be one more walk in July on July 24.
    Wildflower Walks will meet on Aug. 14 and then again on Sept. 11. Participants will receive a plant list and that, along with instruction from Keller, will help them learn how to identify wildflowers currently blooming in Los Alamos. The group will meet each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Los Alamos Nature Center, at 2600 Canyon Road, to carpool to the trailhead.  
    For more information, visitpeecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 662-0460.
     

  • Visitors and locals driving up NM 475 (the road to the Santa Fe Ski Basin) may notice something happening with aspen groves that create one of the most popular vistas on the Santa Fe National Forest.

    To the casual observer, the aspens may appear to be dying. But those bare branches signal the return of the western tent caterpillars, native defoliators whose larvae feed on a variety of hardwood trees species. At least here in New Mexico, they seem to be particularly fond of aspen.

    The caterpillar gets its name from the conspicuous “tent” it builds on branches and twigs. The silken shelter protects the larvae during molting. As they mature, the larvae disperse and continue feeding on leaves until it’s time to retreat into cocoons for their transformation into moths. The process takes a couple months after which the adults mate and the female moths lay the eggs that become next year’s caterpillars.

  • BY ROBERTA R. FINE
    Special to the Monitor

    Jemez House Inc. Thrift Store is rounding out its 21st year as a community and youth resource. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, it is facing growing pains and must make some hard decisions, again asking the community for its cooperation and forbearance.

    It has become an eyesore and a thorn in county management’s side due to unmanageable donations left on the store’s porch during off hours.

    The organization is an outgrowth of a group home for troubled or neglected children founded by a pastor of the United Church of Los Alamos. When the group home closed in 1996, due to new state requirements that were too expensive for it to meet, one of the thrift stores that helped to support it remained open.

  •  Coro de Cámara will welcome the Princeton Girlchoir’s advanced touring ensemble to Los Alamos on its first concert stop of a summer Southwest tour July 11 at the United Church in Los Alamos, with acclaimed Princeton Girlchoir, Artistic Director Dr. Lynnel Joy Jenkins and Pianist Ryan Brechmacher.
    The two choruses will participate in an afternoon workshop together and will present a 7 p.m. concert called, “A Choral Tapestry” at the 2525 Canyon Road, Los Alamos.
    The “Choral Tapestry” program weaves together a rich texture of musical styles and colors, including spirituals, pieces by notable living composers, and global selections. 
    The performance will include 43 singers, three conductors, two pianists, a viola and percussion.
    Each chorus will present its own delightful set of music and will then share several exciting works together.
    Janet Westrick, who founded PGC in 1989 and now lives in Santa Fe, will make a guest conducting appearance.
    State Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard will welcome the audience and introduce PGC.
    Donations will be gratefully accepted at the door. Suggested amount: $20 adults, $10 students.
    After the performance, you can meet the musicians and enjoy light refreshments.

  • Outdoor enthusiasts are reminded that four-wheelers, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or utility vehicles (UTVs) and all off-road vehicles of any kind are prohibited within designated wilderness areas.
    This past weekend, ATV tracks were observed within the San Pedro Parks Wilderness on the Coyote Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF).   San Pedro Parks is one of the original wilderness areas created by the Wilderness Act of 1964, which set aside “primeval” federal land.
    Wilderness areas generally do not allow motorized equipment, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, temporary roads or permanent structures.  These restrictions also apply to the Chama River Canyon Wilderness, the Dome Wilderness and the Pecos Wilderness on the SFNF, part of the more than 106 million acres of federal lands that have been set aside as wilderness.
    Law enforcement officers will be patrolling over the upcoming Fourth of July holiday and the summer. Violators will be cited, and their off-road vehicles will be impounded.
    Visitors should refer to the Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM) to determine which SFNF roads, trails and areas are open to motorized use. For more information, go to fs.usda.gov/detail/santafe/landmanagement/projects/?cid=stelprdb5411664.

  • James M. Boncella, deputy group leader in Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Inorganic, Isotope and Actinide Chemistry group, has been selected as a 2017 Fellow in the American Chemical Society (ACS).

    The ACS Fellows Program recognizes members who have both made exceptional scientific contributions and who have provided excellent volunteer service to the ACS community.

    Boncella was selected as Fellow for his seminal discoveries in actinide chemistry and for his long and distinguished history of service to the ACS, including serving as Chair of the Division of Inorganic Chemistry.

    His research in actinide organometallic chemistry led to the discovery of the [bis(imido)U(VI)]2+  ion, which is the nitrogen analogue of the uranyl ion (UO2) 2+.

    This discovery has in turn led to the recent discovery of a neptunium compound (with A. J. Gaunt) which is the first example of a transuranic compound with a metal-ligand multiple bond with a ligand other than oxide.

    The actinide research has helped to redefine and solidify the role of covalent interactions in actinide chemistry.

  • Christina Wildau from Albuquerque was crowned Mrs. New Mexico June 24 at the African American Performing Arts Center in Albuquerque.

    Delegates from all over the state of New Mexico competed for the coveted crown.

    Along with wining the prestigious title, Wildau also won the Best in Evening Gown and Most Photogenic Awards.

    Wildau also won a prize package valued at over $8,000. She will advance on to compete at the national Mrs. America Pageant in August in Las Vegas, Nevada

    Award winners also included: Best in Swimsuit, Savanah Ray, Mrs San Juan County; Director’s Choice Award Winner, Ashley Lynch, Mrs Central NM; Mrs. Congeniality Award Winner, Brooke Maheng, Mrs. Ruidoso.