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Today's Features

  • Los Alamos High School dance students invite the public to a special Winter Dance Show Dec. 18.

    The show performance will showcase dance talents of many students who actively participate in the LAHS Dance Club.

    They will create their own dance pieces in a variety of dance styles, such as Hip Hop, ballroom, Latin, swing and Bollywood.
    Students from the local dance studios are also frequent guest-performers in the show, as well as LAHS dance program alumni.

    The free show starts promptly at 7 p.m. and is expected to end at 8:15 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

    The Smith Auditorium is still undergoing construction, so the performance will be held in the auxiliary gym.

  • TODAY
    Luminaria Walk and Buffet at Sombrillo Nursing Facility and Aspen Ridge Lodge, 1010 Sombrillo Court, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Community is invited. No RSVP required. Dinner and Dessert at our facilities. Contact Cynthia Goldblatt, liaison, at 695-8981.
    THURSDAY
    Poet Jon Davis will speak at 7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library in the upstairs rotunda, 2400 Central Ave., Los Alamos. Davis is the author of six chapbooks and four books of poetry. He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including a Lannan Literary Award, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. He occasionally performs as the peripatetic poet Chuck Calabreze.
    FRIDAY
    December 15 —
Gentle Walk
at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

  • Chartwell’s Food Services has rolled into the holiday season with a little help from their friends and family members, as they kicked off their Thanksgiving service with about 400 pounds of turkey, 210 pumpkin pies, an obscene amount of mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans.

    “Service of all the schools during our Thanksgiving Extravaganza was nuts,” said Chef Mia Holsapple. “It was much better than last year when we tried to serve all the schools on the same day, but this year we spread it out over a one-week period.”

    Chamisa Elementary kicked off the first holiday meal with 240 served, followed by Aspen Elementary, which served 720, thanks to a generous donation of meals for the entire student body by Del Norte Credit Union. The middle and high school added the Thanksgiving offering in addition to their regular menu, but estimate about 300 turkey meals between the two schools. Pinon Elementary was on Thursday, with 320 meals and Barranca Mesa and Mountain elementary schools brought up the end of the week with Barranca having 400 meals and Mountain 515. 

  • Serena Birnbaum from Los Alamos has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest and most prestigious achievement in Girl Scouting.

    The Gold Award, which challenges Girl Scouts to make a difference in their communities, is presented to fewer than 6 percent of Girl Scouts each year.

    The award is recognized by colleges and employers.  

    Birnbaum’s project “Choir Risers” addressed the need to support the arts program at Los Alamos High School. 

    The current risers were decades old and rickety. Birnbaum said she “hopes future students benefit from a rehearsal space that is well equipped and conducive to an active learning environment.” 

    “I learned a lot from this project including how important it is to support what you enjoy in life,” she said. “I learned about leadership and what it means to be in charge of a large scale project. This knowledge contributed to my growth as a person and leader because it gave me valuable experience and knowledge that I will use throughout my life.”

    Other Los Alamos awardees include Kaya Loy, Emily McLaughlin, Jaida Connolly, Isabel Meana, Seanna Shedd and Katelyn Tapia. All Bronze awardees, the highest award a junior level team can achieve.

  • This is a such a great time of year for so many reasons, that I thought it might be nice to address some pitfalls, before they take place.

    “Happy Holidays” is a general term of greeting exchanged this time of year. There is no disrespect to anyone involved, it is just a holiday greeting akin to, “have a nice day.” There are so many things being celebrated this time of year and this is the opportunity to embrace them all.

    I enjoyed a commercial I heard recently from KOAT’s Doug Fernandez. He said that he loves the fact that they call it the holiday season because of how long we celebrate. I feel exactly the same way, it starts Oct. 1 with decorating for Halloween and goes for a solid five to six months.

    It really kicks in as Thanksgiving approaches and you can wish everyone happy holidays and cover all of the bases. You can’t tell by sight what someone celebrates, but happy holidays kind of says it all.

    This is the time of year that some people get ruffled that you may seem disrespectful by not saying, Merry Christmas and I say not at all. You are just being respectful of everyone. If you disagree or think you do, then I challenge you to Google, can a non-Jewish person wish someone a Happy Hanukkah? Go ahead, I dare you to do it anyway.

  • USDA Forest Service visitor maps will increase in price from $10 to $14 effective Jan. 1.

    Rising costs of production, printing, and distribution have driven the need for the price increase of the paper and plastic-coated visitor maps, the first such increase in almost a decade. The agency continually updates its maps, seeking to enhance them as well. The Forest Service also expects to shorten the revision cycle as its cartographers continue applying new digital technology to the map revision process. 

    The agency is also working to increase the availability of digital maps, which cost $4.99 per side. Digital maps for mobile applications can be downloaded at avenza.com/pdf-maps/store. 

    As always, forest visitor maps are available for sale at those Forest Service offices in Arizona and New Mexico that currently sell them. 

    Volume purchases are available from the National Forest Map Store and can be ordered at NationalForestStore.com or by phone at 406-329-3024.

    To help offset the price increase for volume sales, discount pricing will now be available to all customers starting Jan. 1.

    Discounted maps are only available when purchased through the NFMS.

  • BY BARBARA CALEF
    League of Women Voters of Los Alamos

    Because the existence of a chromium plume in the regional aquifer below Sandia and Mortendad Canyons has been a source of concern for citizens of northern New Mexico, Voices of Los Alamos asked experts to discuss the problem at a meeting on Nov. 27.

    Danny Katzman is the Technical Program Director for LANL’s chromium project and a hydrogeologist.  Katzman began by saying that he was working on a way to explain the complicated technical project, putting together FAQs (frequently asked questions) for the DOE website. This is now posted at the linkenergy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/11/f46/Chromium-Project-Fact-Sheet-Fall-2017-FINAL.pdf.

    Katzman explained that chromium occurs in two forms: chromium-3 or trivalent, which is harmless, and chromium-6 or hexavalent, which is toxic to humans. The hexavalent form, which dissolves in water, is used for chrome plating. At the lab it was used to prevent corrosion in the power plant cooling towers from 1956 to 1972. During that time about 160,000 pounds of excessive concentrations were released into Sandia Canyon.

  • The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos will close for winter break from Dec. 22 through Jan. 2.
    There will be no classes or activities, and buildings will be closed.

    Throughout the year, UNM-LA strives to keep the community notified about weather delays, cancellations, closures and emergencies, through the media, the UNM-LA website, and the UNM-Los Alamos Facebook page. Additionally, students, faculty, and staff can sign up for text message LoboAlerts at loboalerts.unm.edu

    The UNM-LA campus, at 4000 University Dr., will reopen on Jan. 3, with classes beginning Jan. 16.

    UNM–LA is an innovative, rigorous and affordable comprehensive branch community college that provides foundations for transfer, leading-edge career programs, and lifelong learning opportunities.

  • Last week, the Los Alamos Middle School Native Hawks celebrated a Feast Day, as Native American Heritage month came to an end.

    Throughout the month, students attended a special gathering at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, to spend time with Native poets and potters. The artisans shared their talents and backgrounds inspiring young students for the future.

    The Native Hawks “Rocked their Mocs,” and spent the early portion of the month fundraising for a school project.

    Students sold turquoise ribbons and scented pencils to raise $200 to share their culture with their fellow hawks. Several local residents were inspired by their efforts and made  donations to support their work.

    The fundraising was not to benefit their club directly, but to create awareness of local cultures for their fellow students.

    A Feast Day would give a real world learning opportunity to all hawks as they came together to sample cuisine.

    The Native Hawks raised the funds to hire Chef Norma Naranjo to bake Native American items to share. Narano of, The Feasting Place, baked Indian cookies, Horno Bread and Pies that arrived fresh in the morning, straight from the Okay Owingeh, also called the San Juan Pueblo. Her husband Hutch and master of the horno, is from the Santa Clara Puebo.

  • The Los Alamos Nature Center will be closed Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 and open all other days in December and January.

    The nature center is free, and offers a great place to bring family to orient to the Pajarito Plateau before venturing outside or to the neighboring national parks and preserve.

    People of all ages enjoy exploring the nature center’s interactive exhibits, watching the local wildlife, discovering more about the geology of our area, and exploring the unique collection of nature-inspired items in their gift shop.

    The Los Alamos Nature Center, located at 2600 Canyon Road, is open from 10 AM to 4 PM on

    Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays as well as 1-4 p.m. on Sundays. The nature center is open late on Tuesdays, until 8 p.m., closed Thursdays for regular maintenance.