Today's Features

  • Was our recent prescribed burn successful? What does it look like now? Ramon Garcia, wildland division chief, will answer these questions and more during a guided hike into the burned area Tuesday.
    The hike will leave the nature center at 5:30 p.m. to explore areas touched by the recent fire and compare them with parts of the forest left unburned.
    Participants will return by 6:30 p.m. with knowledge about forest fuels and local efforts to preserve our homes and ponderosa forests.
    The Los Alamos Nature Center is open until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. After the hike, there is time to visit the nature center and enjoy the free talk, “Wild Utah: America’s Red Rock Wilderness,” by Terri Martin from the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.
    To register for this hike, and for more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org, or call 662-0460.

  • Los Alamos High School Principal Brad Parker announced Friday seven students were named as Commended Students in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program.  
    “We are very pleased to recognize the academic achievement of these students and congratulate them on this honor,” Parker said.
    The students are Nathan Delgado, Val Jackson-Hundley, Faith Koh, Faith Montaño, Julia O’Brien, Kaelan Prime, Camille Rousculp and Sydney Schoonover.  A letter of commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation, was presented to the students during a reception Friday.
    Although they will not continue in the 2016 competition, Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2016 competition.

  • Do you want to learn more about the planets, stars, and other visible objects in the night sky? Pajarito Environmental Education Center is holding star shows in the Los Alamos Nature Center planetarium this month at 7 p.m. today, Oct. 9 and Oct. 16.
    Each show will introduce celestial objects easily viewed through binoculars that night including planets, the lunar eclipse, star patterns, star clusters, nebulae, double star and other celestial objects. After the planetarium show, PEEC’s telescopes will be available, so viewers can have a better view of the celestial objects in the night sky, weather permitting.
    The October Night Sky planetarium shows are $6 for adults and $4 for children. Tickets are available by calling or stopping by the nature center. Seating is limited.  
    Planetarium shows are suitable for ages three and up. Viewers should arrive at least 10 minutes early for the planetarium show. To help acclimate to the planetarium’s night sky, no one will be admitted after the show begins.
    For more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 662-0460.

  • I’m beyond excited to use the column space this week to talk about some of the finest folks at Los Alamos Public Schools.
    National Custodian Day is Oct. 2! That’s right, some of the hardest working folks in the district have their very own day to be celebrated and I hope you will join me in the salute.
    These are the hard working crews that sweep, mop, wipe tables, clean bathrooms, empty trash and recycle bins. They wipe down water fountains, set up lunchrooms take down lunchrooms, get tables and chairs for the multitude of awards assemblies, open houses, meetings, science fairs and probably a hundred other things they are asked to do on a moment’s notice.
    Who are some of those fine folks I talk about, you might ask? Well, let me name just a few.
    Barranca: Santiago Ortiz, Maria Marquez and Daniel Baca.
    Aspen: Jesus Talamantes is head custodian, Martha Torres and Magalay Perez are evening custodians.
    Chamisa: Jorge Aragon, Carole Pollat and Carmen Miramontes.
    Mountain: Randy Ritche, Bruce Reibe and Eileen Jaramillo.
    Piñon: Patsy Sanchez, Isidro Rodriguez and Carmen Miramontes.
    Middle School: Alfredo Tena is head custodian, Lorraine Sisneros, Mark Mascarenas, Daniel Baca, Janet Torres are evening custodians.

  • Would you look at a senile, drunk, limping old man any differently if you found out he was a millionaire?
    In “Nebraska” (2013, rated R), screening at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library, Woody (Bruce Dern) believes he has won a million dollars. His wife Kate (June Squibb) and adult children know it’s a scam, but his son David (Will Forte) agrees to drive him some 850 miles to pick up the check.
    The greatness of this film isn’t its plot, which is pretty straight-forward. I’m not spoiling anything when I say Woody doesn’t win the money.
    It could be a grim picture: an alcoholic, who doesn’t seem to love anyone, loses again. But everyone’s a character.  When Woody sees his brothers again for the first time in years, rather than have a conversation, they watch football, although they appear to have zero interest in the game. David’s cousins Bart and Cole (Tim Driscoll and Devin Ratray) talk almost entirely about cars, but they don’t appear to actually know anything about cars.
    Woody’s wife Kate (June Squibb) deserves special mention for flashing a tombstone.
    The whole thing is hilarious, and chronic alcoholism is not something I usually laugh about.

    Special to the Monitor

    Special to the Monitor

  • Lately, I’ve been thinking about how often when things seem to go wrong, they can still end up incredibly right.
    Ten years ago, the news was all abuzz with the story of Hurricane Katrina.
    As a sister of the sorority Beta Sigma Phi, a “sister,” had recently moved into town.
    Dawn Brown, husband Art and daughter Ariana were new to Los Alamos and they became family to the community in many ways, but more on that later.
    Dawn’s mother Melba Lee and her daughter Stephanie were still back there and tensions were high.
    The next thing I knew, Dawn was loading the car up with bottled water and on her way to the area.
    As we fast forward, Melba Lee decided to make Los Alamos her home as she figured out the new ripple in her life. Also a sorority sister, Melba was greeted with open arms and soon began to make herself at home.
    The children of our community received a special blessing as someone like Melba Lee greeted them warmly and returned hugs when requested from the children. Don’t tell her I said it, but it was like the youth of Los Alamos and White Rock got to spend afternoons with “grandma” over at the Youth Activity Center.

  • Recently several members of the Los Alamos Volunteer Association Quilter’s group traveled to Santa Fe and Albuquerque to deliver quilts to the Youth Shelter and Ronald McDonald House, respectively. Sixteen quilts and three layettes were donated to the Youth Shelter and received with much appreciation. The Santa Fe Youth Shelter provides housing and educational opportunities to youth.
    The Ronald McDonald House gives the quilts as gifts to new clients and were delighted with the 24 quilts and knitted booties, complete with buttons and a matching beanie that were donated by the quilter’s group.
    The Association would like to give special thanks to Dick Tatro, a LAVA volunteer, for driving the quilters to Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and to the Betty Ehart Senior Center for the use of their van.

  • This weekend is going to be a busy and enjoyable one at Bandelier National Monument.
    “Bandelier is always a great place to visit, but this weekend is going to be extraordinary,” said Superintendent Jason Lott. “Come take a walk on the trails, and then enjoy a really special event each of the evenings.”
    For starters, Saturday is Public Lands Day, a celebration of all the public lands nationwide – National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and all the others owned by all Americans. This year, Public Lands Day is Fee Free. No entrance fees will be charged at Bandelier and nationwide. The next Fee Free Day will be Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
    Next, that evening is the fourth-annual Opera on the Rocks, presented at the Juniper Campground Amphitheater by Opera Alta, Atomic City Transit and Bandelier National Monument.  Featured will be pieces by Mozart, including “Bastien and Bastienna,” written when Mozart was 12, and selections from his famous “Magic Flute,” including the 3 Spirits and Papageno, as well as arias from Tamino and Pamina. All will be sung in English.
    Tickets are available at guildsofsfo.org/LA, but only through Thursday.
    After that, tickets must be purchased at the door.