Today's Features

  • 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.

  • I love homecoming in Los Alamos and how it really makes us all feel like one, with a common goal.
    We don’t find the feeling at any other time, except times of tragedy. Now as the political season begins with a vengeance, any opportunity to come together is a good one.
    You could feel it from the words spoken at the pep rally, to the attendance at the parade. There is such joy in seeing everyone in their glory, from the homecoming court to the Cub Scouts.
    I know that one shouldn’t have too much pride, but I think too much pride is OK when you are proud of one another. I am so proud of every cheerleader, the Native American Club, for every freshman and senior parent that donated candy, streamers and balloons.
    A special thanks to Mark and Ro Saunders who allowed the senior class to borrow their trailer, even though their son Lane was riding in style as a member of the court. I am also thankful to Dave Ploeger who drove the truck that took the trailer hauling the same senior class. There were many moments of collaboration that allowed an event to come together.
    Finally, I am especially thankful to the Los Alamos Police Department’s cops on cycles. I believe they saved a lot of sanity and, dare I say, a life or two, when wandering eyes don’t see the little kids that dart into the middle of the street.

  • Another year kicks off for the New Mexico Future City Competition and Los Alamos students are encouraged to sign up.
    The theme is “Waste Not, Want Not,” waste management and is open to all sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. The goal is to design solid waste management systems of the future.
    The state competition is part of the regional and national Future City contest. The regional winners will move onto the national level of competition.
     Over the years, cities and towns have managed their ever-expanding piles of trash in a variety of ways, including dumping it into landfills, burning it in incinerators, or shipping it off in trucks and barges. Such waste management systems contribute to air and water pollution and can be expensive and energy intensive. Today, engineers around the world are focused on the four R’s of waste management (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot), in an effort to deal with solid waste not as trash, but as a resource.
    With new solutions to waste management critical to the very survival of urban environments globally, the 2015-2016 Future City Competition, a program of DiscoverE, is now underway.

  • Last year someone tried to derail the Assets program by saying it was religion based, causing me some slight turmoil. Ironically there wasn’t evidence to say it was, but just saying it was enough.
    So while one of the 40 Developmental Assets mentions religious activity, it is defined as anything spiritual, not an organized religion. As a matter of fact, at Assets conferences, we were not to talk about religion or politics, as they tend to divide discussion. Imagine that.
    So back to religion. I am not Catholic, but had some company over the weekend that wanted to watch the interview with the Pope. If you didn’t get to see it, there was a question asked of the Pope about struggling youth. His answer blew my mind.
    Of course, I am paraphrasing here, but the Pope said that youth need someone in their life to walk with daily. This answer wasn’t referencing a walk with God, but some adult in their life that they can go to for guidance.
    This week is suicide awareness week and my request is the same. As the school year heats up academically and kids or their parents, or their peers, begin to put on pressure to perform, ask your student if they have an adult they would go to an adult for advice, if they couldn’t come to you.

  • The New Mexico Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Cultural Affairs recently announced, one of the earliest ceremonial centers in current-day northern New Mexico has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
    K’uuyemugeh was a large, complex pueblo settlement from 850–1150 A.D. and the site of one of the region’s earliest great kivas, measuring 52-feet in diameter. It is one of 10 known kivas used by the pre-Columbian community that was built along the Rio Grande near present-day Pojoaque, located some 15 miles north of Santa Fe. Archaeology at the site has revealed “unusual ceremonial animal burials,” indicating the site’s importance as a religious center.
    “The site is a unique, well-preserved example of a rare 10th- and early 11th-century ancestral pueblo community center, and is likely the largest, most intact and enduring in the Northern Rio Grande Valley,” said Tamara J. Stewart, principal for TAMARCH CRM, in her nomination.

  • Many of us would do anything to relieve our pets of a medical issue, especially if it interferes with their ability to live a normal life.
    Although the veterinary care field is more advanced than ever, some medical issues remain difficult to predict and treat. Seizures, caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, continue to be a medical issue veterinarians sometimes struggle to monitor and treat in dogs.
    Little warning occurs before a seizure strikes, making the episode frightening for both the owner and the pet. Fido may appear perfectly normal one minute, but the next he is lying on the floor, muscles twitching. “In a normal brain the neurons fire only when necessary and when stimulated. With a seizure, the neurons start firing rapidly and in synchrony,” said Dr. Joseph Mankin, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “Typically, the dog may become agitated or disoriented, and then may collapse on their side,” he continued. “They may exhibit signs of paddling, vocalization, and they may lose bladder control.
    The seizure may last for a few seconds up to a few minutes, and often they will be disoriented or anxious after the seizure. Occasionally, they may be blind for a short period of time.”

  • A panel of Los Alamos residents who witnessed World War II in quite different ways will have a discussion starting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fuller Lodge.
    A reception is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. followed by the panel discussion. Each individual will discuss what they witnessed 70 years ago.
    The panel is part of the Los Alamos Historical Society’s lecture series, “70 Years Since WWII.”
    Young Mary Zemach was hiking with her botanist father in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was bombed.
    Mia McLeod was not yet a teenager in Holland when the Nazis occupied her country.
    As an 18-year-old, Joe Bergstein survived the Bataan Death March and spent the next four years as a prisoner-of-war in the Philippines and Japan.
    Joe’s brother Ivan (Chick) Bergstein entered Europe through Normandy in December 1944 and was engaged in the Battle of the Bulge.
    Moderator Ellen Bradbury Reid grew up in Los Alamos where her father worked on the Manhattan Project. She is the founder and director of Recursos de Santa Fe, dedicated to the exploration of the cultures and environments of the Southwest.
    Bergstein was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the 12th of 14 kids. He enlisted in the Army Signal Corp in February, 1941, went to the Philippine Islands in July, and was captured on Bataan on April 9, 1942.

  • Happy Assets Month to you and yours. I thought that this column might spend some time talking about the core of the Assets philosophy in creating a Healthy Community, Healthy Youth.
    The thing you hear me prattling on and on about is relationships. I find it ironic when someone comes up with something new they want to do, the essence of the work is essentially Assets and relationship building.
    I think many troubles would be solved if we truly took some time to stop and think about the relationship, not just the academics, not just the sport, not just what everyone is doing or not doing or how someone else could do it better.
    The media it seems is a buzz with so many ugly stories that often it just gets too frustrating to watch.
    Guess what I know for sure?
    There are good cops and bad cops, there are good black people and bad black people, there are good Christians and bad Christians and there are good Muslims and bad Muslims.
    As a matter of fact you can choose a slew of words to insert before “good” and “bad” and the sentence still works, try it. Whites, teachers, doctors, students, gun owners, there are good and bad examples of all kinds of people.